The site is in the heart of the Manchester School of Art Benzie building, it’s located in the outdoor roof terrace on the 4th floor. It is a large often underused space that has several planters on it. The roof terrace provides an atrium light well to the Fashion and Textiles students located below. The terrace is surrounded by the architecture of the Chatham building and looks out at a lovely view of Manchester.
Supported Earth's aim is to transform the space from an underused roof terrace to a vibrant social well-being area that advocates gardening to take time away from the busy schedules of everyone studying or working at the University. We aim to do this by designing planters or furniture for the Benzie roof terrace.
Posted 9 Mar 2020 21:26
DOES ARCHITECTURE MAKE YOU ANXIOUS?
Supported Earth is committed to understanding well being in specific within Architecture. We attended a talk series by our university called “Provocation” it asked..Does Architecture Make You Anxious? Think about it? As we entered the lecture was nearly full everyone was eager to hear the talk. Students and staff shuffled through and then there was us the members of supported earth. There were 3 speakers a University staff member, a student and a graduate who is now an Architect in practice. Each speaker shared their experience and struggle with well being.
It was clear that everyone had the same message, that sometimes stress and the uneasiness can have an impact on your well being, that you’re not alone regardless what stage you are. Seeking help is the first step and that having a balanced lifestyle is key. Taking breaks, eating well and not forgetting to sleep!
We learned a lot after the talk and we hope that we can implement this in our project. Through our planters we could help create a space that encourages well being and taking a nice relaxing break from work becomes the norm.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 15:10
WELL-BEING & STUDENTS
Now more than ever it is important for universities to engage with the well-being of students throughout their education, we suggest the creation of spaces that cater to well-being to be created.
A study in 2018 regarding mental health of University students in the UK found that there is a rise in students facing psychological distress and mental illness, including high levels of anxiety, substance abuse and self-harm.
In a study made in 2018 that asked 38,000 University students, 9 out of 10 students said they struggled with feelings of anxiety. (Guardian,2019)
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. In the UK 8.2 million cases.
This showcases now more than ever it is important to put well-being in the centre of Universities agendas. We hope that in creating a space that caters to students and staff that we can help people feel less worried and more grounded in their day to day lives. When they take a break and remember to breathe this practice of mindfulness can help reduce feelings of unease. Hopefully our space can help create a relaxing environment that can help improve well-being for all to use regularly.
As our project is located in the Manchester School of Art, which is home to over 800 students! Our space has the potential to impact students in their own environment and the number of students will only increase as students leave and new students emerge.
As our project aims to create a space that brings in people to the roof garden, encouraging taking a break and being attentive to personal well-being. Our space can help students decide how they approach their day, whether they choose to take a break in a relaxing space. Or if they want to engage with gardening. Of course, socialising with other students is inevitable bringing their friends as well.
The space therefore becomes not only a roof garden but a catalyst towards a cultural shift that can have a real impact on the way students live and learn in a more balanced manner. We hope that our project can provide a re-invigorating space for students and staff to utilize. A space that can help inspire them to make the changes they need to feel the best they can.
Posted 23 Mar 2020 17:12
As Architecture students make up the largest cohort in the Manchester School of Art. We found some revelations that suggest that well-being of students in architecture may be jeopardised by the way they engage in their studies.
Dezeen held an online discussion with Architecture students, it became apparent that some architecture students are overworked. Some students choosing to stay up for many hours to try and meet deadlines, however as a result of this push they may be more prone to damaging their health in the long run. According to Dezeen this may be in fact an effect of a “burnout”.
“Burnout” according to the World Health Organisation is a chronic workplace stress syndrome that can be clinically diagnosed. It occurs after being exposed to chronic stress that hasn’t been properly managed.
So yes in the short run students may think that working for long hours is the right approach. But taking breaks and pacing yourself may allow for a better approach. We hope our space can be the perfect place for students to take a break and inspire change. Therefore our space is not just a space to relax but one that ensures students and staff are taking enough breaks to avoid feelings of Burnout in the long haul.
Taking a break is sometimes just as hard to do as working. One more minute, after I finish this one thing.. However, contrary to what we think taking a break can be the most productive thing we can do.
According to a study a productivity catalyst could be just that “taking regular breaks of two minutes increased productivity about twice as much (11.15 percent) this is due to Brief diversions vastly improves focus”. This can further be explained with the way we think. As taking breaks helps us avoid overthinking and allows moving to the next task at hand.
What you do in your breaks is just as important and effective breaks can help you reboot. Princeton University study suggests exercise as a break. While Mayo Clinic advocates meditation as another effective method to lower anxiety and boost personal health.
But a great break is incomplete without a great space. We hope that our break space can create the right environment for students to re-fresh and improve their productivity as well!
Socialising has many benefits it might even be the fountain of youth you never knew you had access to. Integrating social activities into your life is key, as it has many benefits. Ranging from better physical and mental health to even lowering the risk of Dementia. Interacting with others allows you to boost feelings of well-being and decrease feelings of depression. Research has shown that creating social connections with others can improve your mood!
Therefore, we hope that the space we create by providing a new activity to gather people. As well as improving the visual aesthetic of the roof garden can contribute to more students choosing to go to the space. Students and staff will then be able to engage in social activities and thus improve their lives as well as their mood.