Sight & sounds of nature

Discovering how a city’s ambience can impact the mood of its citizens with a mini nature reserve.

A mini nature reserve – in the form of a 6.5 metre circular seating area surrounded by plants and sounds from four Victorian national parks – has been installed in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD to examine how a city’s vibe or ambience can impact, and even improve, the mood of its residents.

The Sonic Gathering Space is a prototype biophilic sound design installation by Jordan Lacey, a Research Fellow from the School of Design at RMIT University, and created in collaboration with landscape architect Associate Professor Charles Anderson, also from RMIT.

Biophilic design is used within the building industry and urban design to increase residents’ connectivity to the natural environment and to encourage restoration through direct and indirect contact with nature.

“Typically, biophilic design has been used to create ambiences in cities that are densely populated to create spaces of restoration for busy, stressed-out citizens who don’t have access to nature and parks,” Lacey said.

This article was first published in The Fence magazine.