Urban-type forest symbiotic housing －applying EBM of green power－
Do you know the word EBM? It means "Evidence Based Medicine " in English. For example, even in a mood or sensation with individual differences, credibility is increased if medical backgrounds are given to it. Everyone understand that something naturally-derived makes us feel good. But we can be more confident as medical evidence adds to it. In the near future, forest medicine attracts the attention of many people using this EBM.
Forest bathing or forest therapy ® is attracting attention not only in Japan but also globally. This word is still new and it was named by Akiyama Tomohide of the Director General of the Forestry Agency in 1982. In English it translates into forest bathing, but even in foreign countries it is often called shinin-yoku. For European and American people, the fact that there is the power to make people healthy in the forest seems to be considerably interesting.
Human beings are said to have been born in a rainforest in central Africa, but then evolved nearly 7 million years in the forest. Our modern people have made artificial society like this for at most 200 years since the Industrial Revolution. Therefore, human genes still have elements adapting to the forest environment (natural environment). On the other hand, modern people live in an urban environment that is far from the forest environment. That is why we are always under stress. Tend to focus only on social stress, but stress from the environment that is always exposed is the worst. These stresses are linked to many modern diseases.
From the stressful contemporary artificial environment, just by moving to the forest environment where the original gene is adapted, the human body is released from stress, the immune power rises and the autonomic nervous system It is known that blood pressure etc will also be normalized. About such physiological data and EBM, Japanese researchers belonging to the International Society of INFOM (International society of Nature and Forest Medicine) has been spread all over the world. In the future, if EBM is added that senile disorders such as dementia and mental disorders such as depression and even anti-aging are effective, forest medicine will be effective for prevention of diseases and health maintenance of modern people, Which will lead to a reduction in the number of national health expenses.
The first theme in my architectural design is to copy the forest environment and then incorporate these factors into inside the building. If the environment best suited to human genes is forests, I think that it is the cutting-edge science of architectural planning to analyze the composition of light, sound, smell components, tactile fluctuations, and the composition of tactile fluctuations. EBM of forest medicine gives humans a good opportunity to reconsider the meaning of the internal and external environments, although architecture is an artifact, it is a fate to conflict with nature. Forest medicine gives us a good oppotunity to rethink the meaning of the environment for human.Is it right to put yourself in architecture in the first place.We need to doubt it.
Toshiya Ochiai / Architect
First class architect／Representative Director:Forest Baubiology Studio Inc. INFOM(International society of Nature and Forest Medicine) Director, General Manager ／Kogure- Club Director etc.
Born in Tokyo in 1959 Graduated from Department of Architecture, Waseda University Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University Completed the course of construction engineering He studied under Tomoo Sugisaka and has been involved in wooden building design for many years. After developing the urban environment symbiosis housing, it is now necessary to copy the power of the forest environment into the building. "Symbiosis Forest Residence" is proposed as a theme.
Winner: Sustainable Housing Prize Best Prize, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award Ministry of Construction and Environment Energy housing prize etc. Work: Japanese House New Standard (New House Publishing) Recommendation of urban environmental symbiosis housing (environmental symbiosis housing newspaper company) Sugisaka Construction Office 60 years (Building thinking research company) Architectural magazine "Residential Building" Forest, Human and Architecture (in series)
Chiba Tree Utilization Study Group Planning Interview
I think "nature" as a child rearing environment "Child-rearing and nature" "Forest therapy and environmental education" Mr. Toshiya Ochiai (Architect / Forest · Environmental Building Research Institute)
● What is the effect of forest environment on people? Ochiai: My specialty is the design of architecture. My early architectural theme was traditional architecture. It can be said that it is a research to make architecture using the artisan's handicraft technology. Next, the research shifted to a method of incorporating natural energy to build architecture. At that time the idea of coexistence of nature and symbiosis of the environment was born. The question that occurred at that time was that what the nature was. When coexisting in the environment, I do not know what the environment is like. Somehow I can understand it in the image, but actually trying to incorporate nature, I do not know vaguely what I can specifically take in. However, later it became easier to assume that the specific form of nature is a forest environment.
Ochiai: It is difficult to answer the question of what is the identity of the forest environment. As a result of thinking with various trial and error, the conclusion that we met was the academic term "forest medicine". Where the human being was originally born was a forest environment. It is said that the place of origin of humanity is ITURIForest in central Africa. Human beings born there evolved genes in the forest for several million years. So, forest environment is the essential environment for people, that is exactly the concrete figure of the natural environment. So I began researching the medical effect on people in the forest. Then it became quite easy to understand the target. By replacing the vague thing called nature with the concrete thing called forest, the identity of nature becomes easy to understand. The definition of nature for people is a forest environment itself.
The forest environment draws out the original sensibility of human beings
Ochiai: I am hosting an event called "ESD and HL for Children". The word ESD is known worldwide. It is an abbreviation for “Education for sustainable development”.But I do not understand well if translated into Japanese. That's why ESD is not so established in Japan. However, it is necessary moral education for the future era. Expanded capitalism spreads more and more in the market. As we move forward with development, it has become an era when it immediately affects the global environment. It is bad if there is no point of view to develop sustainably and permanently. Even we adults lack such an idea, so we need such education. However, children are the most suitable candidates for such education.
Ochiai: Take the child into the forest environment and try to touch the forest first. And notice the fun and greatness of nature. Then, study or make them realize how such grace of the forest leads to industry. Let them think about how people's activities affect the environment.To make woodworking experiences and actually touch forest components tie themselves to nature and make various experiences in total. We are doing such child education events ten times a year at forest therapy base throughout Japan. Its target is children and parents(or relatives). This must be a pair. When I go out with them and see the situation, at first, the child is not like a child, there is no childishness of our time. At the beginning they are doing not a good attitude. Even if you say "Let's do gymnastics", it seems to be troublesome. They do not care about adults first, nor do they listen to what their parents say. On the other hand, parents are careful about their children. There are many such parents and children. However, if you experience ESD event with that therapy experience, the relationship between adults and children will change first. That was one surprise. Respect for adults is born. In short it is released when they are in nature. Contemporary society also seems to have a great stress on children. When it goes into the forest it will probably be released. The original self comes out. Then they will rely on their parents or adults are great, that kind of honest feelings come out. Such changes will appear in just about two hours and will be back in a good parentage relationship. I was surprised at such natural power.
Ochiai: That's what the power of the forest we are saying in the end. Now, by eliminating the stress that we and children have, we can solve almost every problem including modern illness. Stress is leading to most modern illnesses. So now modern diseases, lifestyle diseases, diseases of the mind are prevailing. Through the event I realized that releasing stress will save us considerably. The power of the forest is truly amazing.
Ochiai: The word called “forest bathing” itself was quite new and it was in 1982. It is about 30 years ago. Until then,of course we had the impression that the forest is pleasant place. However, it made it easy to imagine it very much. At the same time it was decided to try to verify it medically from Japan. That is why the International society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM) was completed. Various things have been learned through medical experiments, such as having a medical effect, getting immune power just by going to the forest, lowering blood pressure or getting stressed out.
Ochiai: The way of forest therapy is very succinct. That is using five senses. It is to release the senses. Can you release the senses at this place now? I think that you can not do it. Listen carefully, look closely with your eyes, feel the smell, also sharpen the skin sensation such as wind flow. You can not do it even if you are told to do it in this environment now. It can be done when going into the forest. The point is that environment. In other words, entering into the forest can make the five senses work at the same time. Then you can hear various sounds and smell a lot, you can do various things at the same time. What we can do is to have five senses open at the same time. That's why stress is released. It is impossible to do so in an artificial environment. That is forest therapy. To say extremely in short, it is that kind of thing.
Ochiai: Just to do that, the medical effect you said earlier emerges.For example,it is amazing that immunity will improve. If the immune power increases by 30%, 40%, it will become a body that will not catch a cold. Or it can become a body hard to become cancer. It is prevention against various diseases by getting stressed. It includes mental illness.
Ochiai: That is the rule of nature. Even though it was not in a normal state with various stresses until then, but it got becoming in a normal state soon.
Ochiai: When saying the stimulation to the senses received from the forest, sensuousness like mouth seems to be in a special position. When I taste it, I do not understand what the taste is from the forest. It can be understood that eye is related to light,sound is related to ear, smell is related to nose, skin sensation is related to thermal environment etc. However, the relationship between the forest environment and the taste is a bit ambiguous because forest seems to have no taste.
Ochiai: When I think about it, humans body starts from the egg and get out of the intestines. It is the intestines that are first made in our body,then mouth and anus. After all, the structure of a person enters from the mouth and comes out of the anus from the tube structure. So mouth is important as the basic structure of human, not only to eat but also to be the beginning of various cultures and actions. So it is probably the most important thing for children to arrange cuisine and dishes, which is the first step in the code of conduct in human formation and culture. You can say that your mouth is controlling these things.
Ochiai: So preparing meals for children is not an unpleasant task, but rather a fun game and cultural thing. I hope you can link the actions to eat that way to culture.