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Japanese Garden Design, Perception, and Wellness

04/05/16 | View Comments

Within the theory and practice of garden design exists the concept of ‘patterns’. Patterns are not rules, but general guidelines suggesting how people and a setting can be ‘in sync’. Some patterns suggest ways in which a green space can provide healing benefit to visitors. For example, the pattern ‘Wondering in Small Spaces’ describes how even small green spaces can be designed in such a way to evoke the imagination (mental wondering) or provide viewpoints where visitors survey the garden’s extent, feeling secure and inspired. Consider an experience in a Japanese garden:

The mind wonders when the eyes perceive a landscape filtered through the lacy leaves of a Japanese Maple. Intimate, smooth paths wind around a bend into a hidden nook. A bamboo water fountain clanks as the weight of the water rolls through it.

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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