טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentSimonov Ella
SubjectWell-Being Promoting Gardens; Defining Environmental
Elements for Reducing Stress and Improving
Performance and Satisfaction
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Ms. Noemi Bitterman
Professor Nurit Lissovsky
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Ever since the early ages, nature, vegetation, sunlight and fresh air have been perceived as being an essential part of a person's life, and even more so, as a healing force in facing day-to-day hardships.

Today’s modern way of life, usually fast and stressful, is dictating new rules and is creating added pressure and tension. Along with the development of modern technology and virtual social networks, we are finding ourselves shut inside our homes and offices, and fresh air is being replaced with air conditioning. Land prices and building pressures have created a new reality in which "natural" landscapes, parks, gardens and even a view of nature are becoming scarce. Small and pocket gardens within urban surroundings and in work places, factories, public institutions and residential areas could be an excellent solution to the extreme density and lack of open spaces in most modern cities. Many literary sources indicate that further research on this subject is necessary.

An important aspect of a research study is one that examines the influence of different shapes and elements in a garden on reducing stress levels and their effectiveness in doing so (Clare, Cooper and Marcus, 2000)

A garden is comprised of several elements, each of which can affect us differently: grass, shrubs, trees, sounds, etc. In this paper, we identified five parameters: sound, smell, the garden’s general ground cover, the color of blossoms, and bench texture. The objectives of this study were to select and examine different elements of a garden with respect to relaxation, improvement of functioning and general satisfaction of the visitor.

The main study objectives were:

1 .    To evaluate different elements of a garden with respect to relaxation, improved quality of life, functioning and satisfaction.

2 . To examine favorite garden elements in an experimental set-up according to the parameters of performance, preference and objective physiological criteria.

3 .    To set up an environment-based design methodology for carrying out research in designing gardens and outdoor spaces that foster relaxation and improve functioning and satisfaction. In the future, it will be possible to expand the research and its conclusions to healthcare and rehabilitation facilities, and for special needs populations .

Conclusions :

1.    Small gardens in urban surroundings could serve as a preferable solution to the problem of extreme density and lack of expansive public open spaces in modern cities. They could help improve quality of life, foster relaxation and reduce stress levels in people.

2.    Additional research is required to determine how greatly the different elements and shapes in a garden could affect us (Cooper and Marcus, 2003).

3.    Significant differences were found between subjects in indicating their preferred elements in a garden out of the categories proposed in this study.



___________