Katarzyna Brągiel, Lais Kurt Laurisch, Michał Wachura, Cezary Nagórski , Edgars Plocins, Sabīne Asere, Robert Hirsch, Paula Riechardt, Carla Riechardt, Sebastian Scharf, Laura Kalniņa, Joanna Lipnicka, Marius Wissner
Dendrotherapy is one of the methods of nature-based therapy which supports human well-being and psychophysical health through contact with trees. A special form of tree therapy is sylvotherapy (forest therapy).
Dendrotherapeutic practices are recommended and available for people of all ages and abilities, also for people with disabilities. Trees ionize the air around us and generate a healing electromagnetic field. The oils of trees and shrubs emit phytoncides, which possess anti-inflammatory effects and ionize the air, supporting our respiratory system and improving our general well-being. Interactions with trees and the so-called tree therapy increases self-worth, empathy, respect for oneself and for others, decreases anxiety, helps cope with stress or anger, increases creativity and concentration.
In Sweden, forest therapy is known as skoksbad. It is offered as a treatment similar to balneology in sanatoriums and clinics. It also has its place in the offer of forest boards, as well as in the recreational offer of Swedish municipalities. In Finland, forest treatments can be prescribed by doctors.
In Poland, for many years, Dr. Katarzyna Simonienko, a psychiatrist and nature enthusiast, the founder of the Forest Therapy Centre in Podlasie, has been popularising the forest baths.
Forest therapy practices are available to people of different physical ability (including people with disabilities), education levels and age. These practices do not replace medical treatment and consultation with a physician. However, an increasing number of studies proves that it can be a method of disease prevention, especially when it comes to the diseases of the circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems, as well as an effective support for professional treatment.
– furniture used for group and individual use,
– type of a bench / seat / lounger located on the edges of the tree’s crown, enabling the observation of both the surrounding area and the tree itself (focusing attention on the detail – trunk, leaves, light penetrating the leaves)
– it should consist of several parts separated among themselves, enabling comfortable access to individual elements, so that it could be placed next to a wheelchair for a disabled person (so that everyone taking part in the classes can feel a sense of participation with others),
– the piece of furniture should also have a back rest and an arm rest (to enable taking notes, painting, etc.) or make it possible to lie down and observe the crown of the tree
The team’s task was to design a space for dendrotherapy (supporting treatment, rehabilitation and convalescence by staying among trees). The project involves creating a piece of furniture consisting of three elements arranged so that they overlap and create the layout provided by the authors, which was the result of spatial analyzes carried out , functional and natural. Each of the elements A, B and C serves a different type of relaxation and rest. Element A is a deckchair from which you can admire the crowns of trees and a bench with a backrest and a view of the pond, B is a multifunctional element that also combines all the parts, while a piece of furniture C is a bench that allows physical contact with the bark of a nearby oak. All elements were made of spruce and pine wood and impregnated with a suitable varnish.
Architect from Germany
Maria Irina Matei studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University and graduated in 2009. She worked for 10 years in Berlin architectural offices, such as HG Merz, on the project „Staatsoper unter den Linden”, Max Dudler, Robertneun and the timber construction office Scharabi Architekten in Berlin, for which she designed the project „Oberholz, B-Part am Gleisdreieck” as pure timber construction.
She currently works as a research assistant at the Chair of Building Construction and Design at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg. In the winter semester 20/21, she is leading the elective module Wood Construction Seminar.