Global Wellness Institute spotlights public art and wellness trend


The Global Wellness Institute has spotlighted a new kind of architecture and design trend in which public spaces are specifically aimed at nurturing our wellbeing.  

The pandemic brought a huge new desire for the outdoors and nature, and it spurred cities to rethink their centuries-old landscapes: moving away from cars, pollution, and endless consumerism and retail to develop more green spaces and parks.

In cities, biophilic design and new multisensory experiences of nature are increasing and are specifically incorporating art and wellness into the experience. The floating park Little Island just opened in NYC, a cultural and natural playground with 2.4 acres of greenery and free arts/cultural events. In July, The Tide opens in London on the Thames, a new public space that’s about interweaving nature with wellness and arts programming (more below). Paris has just decided to reimagine the Champs-Élysées, nixing most cars and touristy retail to create an “extraordinary garden” that will provide a green, inclusive and cultural space for Parisians’ wellbeing.  

More artists are creating new public art ‘for the soul’ that makes people reflect and pause, intensifies their connection with nature, or invites them to experience a meditative ‘wellness moment.’ In Brooklyn, artist and MIT professor Ekene Ijeoma has created the ‘Breathing Pavilion’- a circle of illuminated columns that invites people to synch their breath to its shifting lights—for some public, meditative breathwork. Architecture studio MAD has created a lantern-like art installation in a Chinese tea field to bring a new spiritual emotion to an unusual place. Spaces that incite a new enlightened state can also be digital, like the art collective TeamLab’s new ‘sauna trance’ space (a kind of sauna-art hybrid experience) on TikTok—part of their Supernature Phenomena project exploring out-of-the-ordinary experiences that can shake up people’s perception and consciousness.  

These new public spaces and experiences are free and radically inclusive: bringing nature, art and wellness to people out on the street.

To access the ‘Spiritual and Numinous Moments in Architecture’ trend in the 2021 Global Wellness Trends Report click here 

Image: Little Island in NYC 

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