Breathing rooms: How nature can help the healing process

Central Saint Martins graduate Zannah Cooper has designed a therapeutic experience based on the elements that improves the wellbeing of patients in hospitals.

From the Series

Central Saint Martins material futures student Zannah Cooper has designed a therapeutic experience that she believes will improve the wellbeing of patients in hospitals. The New Natural is a recreation of natural elements and the creation of an everyday sensorial experience for patients recovering from medical treatments and procedures. This first iteration is in the form of a “breathing wall” that resembles the wind conditions outdoors.

“Using digital technology, I hope to literally bring the outdoors indoors,” says Cooper.

The proximity to and the immediate engagement with the natural environment has been proven to aid recovery amongst patients in hospital wards. However, many older medical clinics and hospitals have been designed with little to no access to the natural environment, and so in many cases this experience is impossible to achieve. 

Through technology and materials, I hope to synthetically recreate natural systems for artificial and hostile environments, introducing poetry and interaction to help aid patients recover quicker and provide a more pleasing and natural feel to their everyday experiences, explains Cooper.

Cooper adds that a peaceful, positive mood and attitude are particularly important in recover, and her project The New Natural is a system designed to strengthen and lighted emotional and psychological well-being.