Hanne Bat Finke Landscape Architects
Human beings have two types of attention(reactions) on our surroundings: Spontaneous attention – fitting to the nature, where we rehabilitate(not energy-spending) and one purposeful concentration when we protect ourselves through an alarm system (energy-spending). 70% of the world citizens/population live in big cities by 2010. In the sense of mental health it´s maybe not comforting our well –being, as the cities grow bigger and bigger. The physical surroundings like the densely built up cities don´t support our spontaneous attention – the attention animated by the reptile brain parts, where we react on nature as a calming and relaxing matter – just like animals. In other words we spend too much energy existing in the “unnatural”, artificial, noisy and “threatening “ environments, which brings a certain stress into the daily life. The big cities are as a result creating the need of open spaces and setting the agenda for the development of the parks and recreational landscapes. Healthy citizens, green and sustainability are keywords of today and of tomorrow – and will influence the way we style our surroundings! Every design must consider about sustainability and show a new moral according to the new paradigm of designing our world – in order to supply the everyday life with space for movement mentally and physically. National Hospital, Copenhagen – reaction on grey concrete! The need and demand for green spots, parks and open spaces, where nature dominates, are increasing and plays a very paradox role in the modern town planning: On one hand we must gather in order to save energy on transport and housings – but on the other hand we maybe create a too dense living which as a result will increase mentally and physical diseases because of stress. As a consequence a decreasing life quality. Outside the city life the recreative landscapes, where it´s still possible to find quiet areas, authentic living in the rural districts and informal places are demanded. Tourism in general makes a big impact on the way we style these landscapes – not always in a harmony with the historical or local identity. Do people know what they want? Styling our common landscapes carries a responsibility for the good life and must contain both aesthetics and meaning, informal places for rehabilitation as well as room for the meeting between people, action, movement, inspiration and art. It is therefore very important to analyse the context thoroughly in order to obtain a translation of a site, which can be understood by the users. Understood in a way that it gives meaning and comfort when you spend time in it or are passing through. And we as designers have to be aware of which kind of spirit we put into a site. Design can been seen as a interpretation of a local history or as a reaction, abstraction, provocation …….. all different but equal important components of the understanding of life. The challenge is, every time, to balance form, scale and materials in a certain context. And to fight for the resources for maintenance – especially when it comes to plants! No gardener – no garden!

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