Recently, students and faculty from the Department of Landscape Architecture of the School of Design participated in the 3rd International Conference on Lifestyle Diseases and Medicine. Other scholars from the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Germany, Portugal, India, South Korea and more attended. The conference presented a mind-blowing opportunity to discuss the latest progress in this field. It provided an overall platform to look at present and future challenges in lifestyle guidance, continuing with preparation, medicinal strategies, and key points of focus.
Zhang Guanhao, a class of 2021 graduate student in Landscape Architecture delivered an academic report entitled “Theory and practice of building a healing garden based on relieving anxiety” under the guidance of Professor YAO Lei and LI Yuhong, faculty from the School.
This study not only provided an innovative path for theoretical research and practice into healing gardens, but also improved students’ theoretical research, communication and thinking. In the future, the School of Design will continue to promote improvements and the cultivation of innovation in professional Landscape Architecture education.
With the rapid development of China's economy and society, people in many industries have faced a great deal of mental stress. Continuous mental stress not only can induce mental, sleeping and eating disorders, but also aggravates the conditions of underlying diseases. The number of people experiencing such stress in China has been on the rise, and standard medical solutions have not been able to effectively remedy these symptoms. As a result, people are looking towards a natural lifestyle that is related to meditation, is soothing, and is easy to use to solve their dilemmas.
The Aromatic Plant Research and Development Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been engaged in the extraction and analysis of aromatic plant fragrances for more than 20 years. During this time, it has researched the health effects of essential oils and of healing gardens. It found that if we use specific aromatic plants in a healing garden, the fragrant material is more effective in fighting anxiety and lowering blood pressure than if solely using the essential oils themselves. The center has built healing gardens for blood pressure and anxiety in the past, and has measured different volunteers’ physiological indicators such as blood pressure and thermal infrared rays, all showing significant results. Based on this, our team has designed and built an anxiety-relieving healing garden in Jinshan District, Shanghai. In this case, we combined the healing effects of the specific fragrance substances of aromatic plants such as Jade hairpin, mugwort, motherwort together with hardscape. We set up a content series, including an entrance buffer zone, catharsis zone, water listening and fish watching zone, climbing view zone, confession zone, meditation zone, and sunset viewing zone to realize the combination of smell, vision, and garden behavior. This allows for the gradual release of anxiety in stages to achieve a healing effect.
Unlike the previous case, this time we set up a “pour out area." Psychologists Pennebaker and Larson found through their research that talking is an indispensable method to relieve anxiety. We therefore designed a special area in the project for visitors to talk to each other, and also designed different levels of "talking" to promote the improvement of visitors' emotions to the greatest extent.