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© 2016 by Nicole Craanen

 

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2. NON-VISUAL CONNECTION WITH NATURE

PATTERNS

  •  LOWER Sympathetic Nervous System Response (1, 10)
  • LOWER Heart Rate (10)
  • LOWER Respiratory Rate (8)
  • LOWER Blood Pressure (9, 10)
  • ENHANCE Stress Recovery (1,2, 4, 10)
  • IMPROVE Healing (7)
  • IMPROVE Immune Function (7)
  • REDUCE Cerebral Blood Flow Rates (6)
  • INCREASE Comfort (6, 8)
PHYSICAL
ENVIRONMENTAL
  • PROVIDE Privacy (3)
  • INCREASE Restorative Benefits (4,5)
  • ENGAGE Sense of Curiosity (3)
  • CREATE Connection to Place (3)
  • INCREASE Sense of Security (3)
  • INCREASE Sense of Well-Being (3)
INTELLECTUAL
  • IMPROVED Cognitive Functioning (8)
EMOTIONAL
  • ENHANCE Memory Recall (1)
  • IMPROVE Social Functioning (3)
  • DECREASE Anxiety (9)
SOCIAL
  • IMPROVE Social Functioning (3)

WELL-BEING BENEFITS

(1) Alvarsson et al., 2010; (2) Annerstedt et al., 2013; Browning, Ryan, & Clancy, 2014; Heerwagen, 2011; (3) Heerwagen & Gregory, 2008; (4) Hunter et al., 2010; (5) Jahncke et al., 2011; (6) Koga & Iwasaki, 2013; (7) Li, 2010; (8) Qin et al., 2014; (9) Saadatmand et al., 2013; (10) Ulrich et al., 1991

“The senses define the interface between the skin and the world, the interface between the opaque interiority of the body and the exteriority of the world.”

-J. J. Gibson

THE BASICS

 

 

Non-Visual Connection with Nature address the non-visual senses: sound, smell, touch and taste.  Visual and Non-Visual connections with nature begin to address the complexity and multi-sensory experience we seek in our environment. As with the Visual Connection with Nature pattern, there are ways to achieve this connection both naturally and through simulation.  The engagement of multiple senses can increase interest and possibly effectiveness.

 
Scroll down or click to skip to sense or image examples
SOUND
 

Used with Visual Connection to Nature:

  • Nature view with nature sounds can enhance stress recovery (1).

White Noise:

  • Sound masking is more effective if it sounds like nature. It can provide privacy and offer restorative benefits.  In fact, restoration can be up to 37% faster than with louder urban noises (2).

Imagery:

  • Simulated Nature: Reaction to sound can be manipulated through imagery. 

    • Ocean waves and car traffic have a similar frequency and are perceived a constant roar.  Participants in one study who saw an image of an ocean while hearing traffic noises, responded to the sounds as pleasurable, but when viewing an image of traffic, found the sounds displeasing (4)

Naturally Occurring and Simulated:

  • Consider allowing open windows in order to hear birds, flowing water, or the rustle of leaves.  In a simulated environment, the use of an audible water feature or a digital representation of nature sounds could be considered.

  • INCREASE Pleasure Response (4, 9)
EMOTIONAL
  • PROVIDE Privacy (6)
  • INCREASE Restorative Benefits (2, 5, 6, 8)
  • INCREASE Feelings of Energy (5)
ENVIRONMENTAL
PHYSICAL
  •  LOWER Sympathetic Nervous System Response (1, 10) 
  • LOWER Heart Rate (9, 10)
  • LOWER Respiratory Rate (9)
  • LOWER Blood Pressure (4, 9)
  • ENHANCE Stress Recovery (1, 2)

Research Fun Fact #09

Ocean waves and car traffic have a similar frequency and are perceived a constant roar.  Participants in one study who saw an image of an ocean while hearing traffic noises, responded to the sounds as pleasurable, but when viewing an image of traffic, found the sounds displeasing (7)

Research Fun Fact #10

Rates of learning can be negatively effected when student focus is comprised through sounds like, annoying equipment noises, or excessive noise from outside the classroom. (3)

NATURALLY OCCURRING
  • Plants/Trees
  • Facade Greening
  • Bodies of Water
  • Animals/Insects/Fish
  • Water Feature
  • Plant Wall
  • Artwork or video depicting natural scene
  • Consider addition of natural sounds (3, 5)
SIMULATED NATURE
INDIRECT EXPERIENCE
DIRECT EXPERIENCE
(1) Alvarsson et al., 2010; (2) Annerstedt et al., 2013; Browning, Ryan, & Clancy, 2014, (3) Heschong Mahone Group, 2003a; (4) Hunter et al., 2010; (5) Jahncke et al., 2011; (6) Karmanov & Hamel, 2008; (7) Pheasant, et al., 2010; (8) Ratcliffe, Gatersleben, & Sowden, 2013; (9) Saadatmand et al., 2013; (10) Ulrich et al., 1991
 
  • IMPROVE Healing (1)
  • IMPROVE Immune Function (1)
PHYSICAL
EMOTIONAL
  • IMPROVE Comfort (2)

Scents enhance:

  • Powerful connection between scents and memory. 

  • Improved healing and immune function when exposed to herbs and essential oils from trees (1)

Naturally Occurring: 

  • Ability to open windows for exposure to fragrant herbs and flowers, or planting them indoors. 

Simulated:

  • There are systems available that can mechanically release natural plant oils.

NATURALLY OCCURRING
  • Fragrant Plants/Trees
  • Scents Connected to Weather
  • Soil/Earth
SIMULATED NATURE
  • Natural plant oils
Browning, Ryan, & Clancy, 2014, (1) Li, 2010; (2) Qin et al., 2014
SCENT

Research Fun Fact #11

Differences in comfort and calmness were found when a group was given 4 items to touch: a plate of aluminum, a piece of velveteen, a leaf of natural pothos (philodendron), and a leaf of artificial pothos made of resin. 

Using touch, the participants easily differentiated the metal and fabric, but did not notice the differences between the natural and artificial pothos.  However, physiological calmness was only achieved with the fabric and natural pothos plant  (6)

 

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

  • REDUCE Cerebral Blood Flow Rates (6)
  • DECREASE Stress (2)
  • DECREASE Pain Sensations (3, 4)
PHYSICAL
EMOTIONAL
  • IMPROVE Social Functioning (1, 3, 4)
  • DECREASE Stress (3, 4)
  • INCREASE Comfort (4, 6)
  • INCREASE Sense of Well-Being (4)

Benefits:

  • Real vs Synthetic Plants: In comparison with a fake plant, only a real plant can induce calmness (6)

  • Touch can engage a sense of curiosity, create a connection to place or a connection to the history of a place (worn brick in an old building, stone with fossils),  An enanced connection to weather patterns can be achieved, for example, the touch of a warm stone on a sunny day (5)

  • Animal Assisted Therapy: Can improve social and emotional functioning. An animal at rest can signal safety, security and a feeling of well-being. Animals used in therapy can decrease stress and feelings of pain (1-4).

 

Considerations:

  • Consider use of natural textured materials, or manufactured materials that mimic natural features. 

SOCIAL
  • IMPROVE Social Functioning (1, 2)
ENVIRONMENTAL
  • ENGAGE Sense of Curiosity (5)
  • CREATE Connection to Place (5)
  • INCREASE Sense of Security (5)
  • INCREASE Sense of Well-Being (4, 5)
  • INCREASE Preference (4)
TOUCH
NATURALLY OCCURRING
SIMULATED NATURE
  • Accessible Plants/Trees
  • Accessible Water
  • Accessible Soil/Earth
  • Connection to Animals
  • Natural materials
(1) Balluerka, Muela, Amiano, & Caldentey, 2014; (2) Barker, et al., 2012; Browning, Ryan, & Clancy, 2014, (3) Calcaterra et al., 2015; (4) Engelman, 2013; (5) Kellert, 2008; (6) Koga & Iwasaki, 2013
TASTE
 

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

 

Benefits:

  • Consider use of herbs, or plants that produce vegetables or fruit that can be smelled, touched and picked for consumption.  Any smells that illicit a taste response (salivation for example) can be considered in the taste category.

ENVIRONMENTAL
  • ENGAGE Sense of Curiosity (1)
  • CREATE Connection to Place (1)
NATURALLY OCCURRING
  • Edible Plants
  • Smells & Scents that Illicit Taste Response
SIMULATED NATURE
  • Manufactured Smells & Scents that Illicit Taste Response

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

Some more Great Examples of Non-Visual Connection with Nature

(a range of applications & styles is are shown below)

Falling Water
Mill Run, Pennsylvania, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Pantheon
Rome, Italy
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Millennium Park
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
UW-Madison, Union South
Madison, Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Vietnam
Photo Credit: Jason Craanen
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Manitou, Colorado, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Colectivo
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Siam Paragon Mall
Bangkok, Thailand
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Angkor Thom
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
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Lucern, Switzerland
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Park Guell
Barcelona, Spain
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Maharaj Pier
Bangkok, Thailand
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Notre Dame
Paris, France, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Interface - Neocon
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Italy
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Chciago, Illinois, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
Lyfe Kitchen
Evanston, Illinois, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
DSC_2633.jpg
Cordoba, Spain
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen
West Elm
Milwaukee,  Wisconsin, USA
Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen