Recently in Research: William Bozeman
Will Bozeman, an Environmental Design major in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, is a 2023-2024 Undergraduate Research Fellow.
Bozeman’s research, guided by Kelly Homan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Design, emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with nature. The “Green Mind Theory,” as it’s known, considers the holistic benefits to the brain and body when connected to natural and social elements. Carrying the Green Mind Theory into design practice requires considering how the entire brain can be activated through interaction with nature: the parasympathetic nervous system (top brain) along with the sympathetic nervous system (bottom brain).
The benefits vary depending on the user’s focus, attention, awareness and immersion but can include longer lasting memories, which occur when neurons are created by the hippocampus as a reaction to an enriched environment.
While natural spaces are beneficial to everyone, they can be designed in a way that is especially beneficial to those with mental disabilities. Sensory gardens provide a wide range of sensory experiences with which users may interact. This includes different features, surfaces, objects and plants to stimulate the human senses. While normal gardens utilize senses in everyone, these gardens are specially designed and tailored to the needs of those with special needs.
Learn more about Bozeman’s research into sensory spaces in the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship.