Health and Well Being, the Keys to Environmental Design!
The Shallow Crossing denotes the altered state of consciousnesse which enables 'one to cross over from worldly engagement to the side of Nirvana'. In Hindu culture, the crossing is known as a Tirtha which most often refers to pilgrimage sites connected to sacred water; hence, the definition of Tirtha as "river ford." A temple, holy mountain or residence of a sage may also be referred to as a Tirtha.
On a metaphorical level, a Tirtha represents a sacred state of mind and the divine guidance for the crossing from the earthly world to a higher state of being. It is a pathway to self-realization and bliss.
The concepts of Darshan – that is to say divine sight – and Tirtha – a shallow crossing – have galvanised environmental design thinking in the reconfiguration of the Temple grounds. The Balaji Temple UK is the scion of a Mother temple in Trimula Southern India which happens to be the richest pilgrimage centre, and the most-visited place of worship in the world with 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily and on special occasions the number shoots up to 500,00.
It is our intention to explore links and connections between Tirtha in Balaji India and Balaji UK. Within the research remit of Gardens of Consciousness, these links could explore telematic and technoetic ‘hook ups’, conjoined physical properties in the sacred landscapes as well as the anticipated spiritual and mystical connections
These ideas have also inspired a proposed show garden. With the help of digital technology, this conceptual garden will allow participants to personally ‘draw back the curtain’, and gain ‘divine’ access to that part of the garden which currently lies obscured, temptingly just beyond reach! As well as governing access to its shrouded inner sanctum, the garden is designed to highlight the question of whether such access is gained by dint of calculation or mere persistence, by good fortune or purely by the grace of god?
Linked to this design initiative, as part of a mixed media promotional campaign, we also launched ‘float a lotus’. This work was hosted by ‘Chelsea fringe’, and through the use of QR codes linked to a dedicated website, it allowed participants to interact remotely with the show garden and hopefully with good fortune (or Gods grace?) to pass beyond the veil….!
As part of a proposed interdisciplinary research project a series of comparative studies will be carried out in a laboratory to evaluate the relationship between the quality of the environment and patient compliance with treatment. All studies will involve the execution of a prescribed set of exercise whilst participant vital signs are carefully monitored.
The significant variable in this experimental setting is the presence and nature of the projected environment which shall range from a basic laboratory with no projection to projected environments which are open to patient choice and adjustment, to automated environments configured to reward the patient for compliant effort. Environments will also vary from ‘natural’ to more mechanised man made settings as well as reflect day and night and the four seasons.