The Nature, Health & Design Laboratory – University of Copenhagen

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Nature, Health & Design Laboratory

The research group has established a Nature, Health and Design Laboratory to serve as a site for: research, practice, demonstration and teaching. The laboratory is located in the Hørsholm Arboretum. The laboratory is the first of its kind, and the focus is generally on the interaction between nature, health, and design.

The two main perspectives in Health Design

  • From a health promoting  perspective, research concerns the importance of supportive and restorative nature environments in relation to workplaces, schools, playgrounds, pockets parks located in the dense city, as well as other natural environments.
  • From a therapeutic perspective, focus is on healing landscapes at acute care hospitals, healing gardens at for example refuge centres for battered women, and children and on therapy gardens for stressed patients.

Nature Health & Design Lab Logo

The laboratory currently consists of two projects; the forest therapy garden, Nacadia®, and the health forest, Octovia®. The two projects represents the two main perspectives in health design: In Nacadia®, nature-based treatment is offered to people suffering from stress-related diseases, while Octovia® offers nature experiences that aim to promote good health and prevent ill health. Both projects are based on a common theoretical framework, and are designed according to the evidence-based health design process.

Conceptual manuals

Further, two conceptual manuals targeting practicing landscape architects have been published in Danish (Konceptmodel). In the manuals, the projects’ evidence-based design processes are thoroughly described, from the initial idea to the construction phase, serving as a practical guide. The vision is that the laboratory will develop into a hub for researchers, practitioners, students, and others who are interested in nature, health, and design. The ambition is to expand the laboratory in the future.