Reading Summary 4

“Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces” by Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi analyzes how the architecture of certain college campuses can work to relieve its students of the mental agitation that they face in the classroom. Nature, which can be defined in many ways, creates an environment for students that allows them to relax and put their mind at ease while also stimulating it. It is mentioned that being in touch with nature can come in many forms including having a house plant, a pet, walking in an open park, or a forest crowded with trees. Nature can be an agent to cleanse the mind which can be further explained by the Attention Restoration Theory. The theory suggests that nature has the ability to have a recovering effect on those who are cognitively exhausted.   University campuses that incorporate rain gardens, green houses/roofs, and living laboratories create a space where students can not only study and take care of the plants themselves, but it also gives the rest of the students a place where they can go to restore their attention. In addition, campus buildings can be constructed in ways to encourage the students to relax their mind like having open window space, natural light, one story buildings, and having the aforementioned nature spaces near by.   The idea behind this theory has played a significant role in campus construction all the way back to the United State’s first university, Princeton. Princeton was constructed in a more rural area with its buildings formed in a way to secure its students from the outside world as if to...

Campus Design to Ease the Mind

As interest in higher education continues to escalate, authors Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi inform readers as to why campuses are designed in a particular way that inevitably distinguish them as learning facilities through the article Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces. Along with this idea, the authors also elaborate on the way campuses are designed in order to provide students with mental stability—the science that motivates campus blueprinting. Because students require a large sum of focus on a daily basis and thus leading to fatigue, campuses are built as a form of service for mental relief. Through open spaces, landscapes, and/or nature, students are able to experience a shift in mental state. The authors explain this shift by categorizing different types of attention students experience: direct and indirect (Scholl & Gulwadi 55). Direct attention is essential in everyday functioning, but the most demanding among the rest. This kind of attention relates to one’s own discipline to be attentive. For instance, this is the kind of attention necessary to sit still, silently, and absorb the information given through a long lecture–the attention needed to be productive in any task or profession. This kind of attention is typically located within closed doors. Indirect attention is what the authors refer to as “involuntary,” and therefore this attention pertains to aspects of the environment that one simply notices instead of intentionally focusing attention (Scholl & Gulwadi 55). Because this attention occurs involuntarily, it occurs when something captures interest. If the landscaping does a decent job at capturing attention, students seek the sources that trigger mental relief. This shift in attention allows the mind...
css.php