Stigsdotter Dissertation Landscape Health

Therapists and designers the opportunities we have

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Unformatted text preview: with leading individuals in the horticultural therapy movement: scientists, horticultural therapists and designers. The opportunities we have had to visit several healing gardens, often in the company of a local horticultural therapist, have helped to make our understanding of specific healing gardens greater than what it would have been had we only read about them. Our personal discussions with researchers, practitioners and designers have enabled us to pose more questions and to try to better understand their designs and experiences. The aspect of personal experience gives the present method added dimensions and strength. My work with these methods has been supported by the fact that it is based in a research and development environment in which questions are cultivated through discussion. A great deal is happening in the field of horticultural therapy. What is read, seen and experienced today becomes obsolete fairly quickly. More and more countries are showing a great interest in the area, e.g., Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Korea and Japan. The movement is spreading throughout the world, and there are different views on garden design, the structure of therapeutic programs and on the patients themselves. In the future, I would very much like to see a summary and comparison of the situation in different countries. Yet there is also a need for examination of the situation in Sweden. Our research group Health and Recreation constantly receives information on new healing gardens being built up in Sweden. This great interest is both positive and negative. The negative aspect is that all gardens claiming to be therapeutic or healing do not actually possess such qualities; thus patients and relatives are given false hopes and expectations. Our research group is now conducting research to ensure the quality of the design of such gardens as well as of the horticultural therapy programs undertaken. The positive aspect of this interest is people’s growing understanding of how healing gardens can promote human health. Paper I was written in collaboration with Associate Professor Patrik Grahn. My main contribution has been to develop questions and ideas concerning the difference between a healing garden and a ”regular” garden; I have also done much of the writing. The paper discusses a theory synthesis, which leads to the construction of a hypothesis concerning the design of healing gardens. This is then applied in practice through the design of a healing garden at Alnarp campus, which is described in Paper II. Paper I may be seen as an introduction to hypothesis construction for further research. Several researchers, myself among them, will be following the healing garden at Alnarp campus – the patients, staff and rehabilitation programs – for a few years in order to study how the garden, people and programs function together. The focus of my continued research will be on the design of the garden. Paper II. Experiencing a Garden: A...
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