Have you heard of Urban Acupuncture?

20 Mar 2018

We don’t know why, but when we speak of something good, and we want to avoid jinxing it, we often knock or touch wood. In fact, similar expressions exist in many languages including Portuguese, Finnish, Greek, Swedish and Arabic.

Michelle Punch

Senior Architect

Despite nationality, religion or geography, we associate touching wood with keeping luck on our side. We also associate being surrounded by forest with warmth, security, rejuvenation… Perhaps there is a secret locked behind this natural material. 

And when used in the context of a building construction material, this essence is preserved. There is an innate ability for timber to repair and restore the soul regardless of its use.

Increasing urbanisation rates have caused a disconnect with nature and in turn have had an adverse effect on people’s stress levels, cognitive performance and general mood.

Wood can have a catalytic effect on our physical environments and nature connected design can have far reaching benefits on health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Our engineered timber buildings act as the wooden needles for urban acupuncture. They are the healing essence of the individuals living in them, of the community evolving around them, and of the broader urban environment being developed. 

Encouraged by Planet Ark’s studies on the positive impact of ‘nature inspired design’, Lendlease is continuing its journey towards bringing nature back into the built environment.

As place makers, we have a responsibility to reconnect our building to nature and continue this journey into creating human-centred places by investing in the development, design and construction of engineered timber buildings.

Is the design of responsible spaces evolving to create more people centric spaces? The answer is undoubtedly yes.

To evolve our design more rapidly, one option is the increased use of sustainably sourced timber as a building material. 

Timber is our only truly renewable mass building material and supports our planet’s life balance of carbon and oxygen. It fights climate change and creates balance in our own systems. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves concentration and cognitive development, assists our ability to recover and makes us feel good.

We want to inspire people to consider the materiality of the workplace of the future and the inherent advantage of using wood in preference to other non-renewable and more carbon intensive materials like concrete and steel. 

The benefit being tangible by both the property and construction industry and most importantly by the people who occupy the spaces. 

When we feel good, we repair our souls.