Stigsdotter Dissertation Landscape Health

To develop a beautiful stimulating and functional

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: a beautiful, stimulating and functional park environment at Solberga Nursing Home in Älvsjö. The park was to be designed primarily for the very old and ailing. The objective was that the park should be a beautiful and secure place offering opportunities both for solitude and for interaction with other residents, family, friends and staff. I carried out the research assignment, which entailed documenting – through participant observation – the process from ideas to design and laying out of the new design proposal for the park (Stigsdotter, 2000). I developed this design proposal in collaboration with the nursing staff and the residents (see Figure 2). Figure 2. Plan for Solberga Park, drawn by Ulrika A. Stigsdotter. 8 Lessons from the pilot project My greatest lesson from the pilot project was the realization that designing people’s living environments, particularly environments for the weak and ailing, entails an enormous responsibility. In the literature I found a great interest in creating gardens for different patient groups, but I also found very little theoretical ground on which to base my work of giving shape to healing gardens. I had my strongest experience from the pilot project while sitting with the nursing staff and together sketching a plan for Solberga Park. I realized then that I would never find their insights in books and that collaboration with nursing staff is crucial when designing gardens and parks for different patient groups. One clear result of the collaboration between the various professions is the bridge over the brook through Solberga Park, which involved the joint efforts of a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a landscape architect and a carpenter. It is not only a bridge, but also a fine example of universal design, as people can – on equal terms – cross over the bridge regardless of whether they need a wheelchair, a walker, the support of a railing or are fully physically mobile (see Figure 3). Figure 3. A sketch of the accessible bridge in Solberga Park, drawn by Ulrika A. Stigsdotter. During my conversations with the elderly residents, their longing to go out into the park was revealed, as was the importance of both physical and psychological accessibility. This implies that residents must be physically able to use the park, but also that they must dare to be there – they must be sure that they can find their way back to the building and that there are many benches in case they suddenly need to sit down. In Solberga Park, we tried to address these concerns by ensuring that all paths lead back to entrances to the building, that all entrances are clearly marked and that there is a maximum of 25 meters between benches. The project continued after I left to begin my postgraduate studies. It has resulted in two reports on how the park has affected residents’ health (Lenninger, Olofsson & Thelander, 2002; Olofsson & Thelander, 2002). Although today I might design the park somewhat differently based on...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 09/24/2013.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online