Category Archives: Research

The Forest 404 Podcast and Experiment – get involved

Stressed or tired after a long day? Listening to nature might help you feel better. Take part in a ten minute experiment to help researchers understand how people respond to the sounds of the natural world.

The Forest 404 Experiment explores how people respond to the sounds of nature.

It’s linked to BBC Radio 4’s new podcast Forest 404, set in a not-too-distant future after a data crash.

The drama’s main character, Pan, works in a data library where she archives audio recordings from the 21st century. One day she stumbles upon a recording of a rainforest and begins a quest to understand its origin and meaning.

The experiment explores Pan’s emotions in more detail, and discover how people from different backgrounds respond to sounds of nature. For more information on how to take part go to https://nquire.org.uk/mission/forest-experiment/contribute

The Forest 404 Experiment is a research partnership between BBC Radio 4, the BBC Natural History Unit, the University of Bristol, the Open University and the University of Exeter.

Becoming A Tree In Virtual Reality

Nest caterpillars in your arms, and watch the days pass.

Sometimes I save articles and then forget about them, which is what happened with this wonderful piece from last year. It’s by Mark Wilson about a VR project from the MIT Media Lab. The title of his article was “Escape From The Horror Of 2017 By Becoming A Tree” but I’m sure you’d agree that’s something we need even more in 2018.  Enjoy.

“Is it possible to experience being another lifeform?”

That’s the foundational question asked by Tree, an unusually immersive VR app developed at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group. Featured on Prosthetic Knowledge, the short experience places you inside the bark of a tree in the Peruvian rainforest. But you don’t just get a view of the forest around you. You feel it, too.

Because of a suite of technologies, as you rise from the dirt, sprouting from seedling into a full-grown tree, a fan blows wind over your skin, like the passing breeze, as a smell machine pipes in what I can only assume is the fragrant green funk of a forest canopy after the rain. Cont’d at Escape From The Horror Of 2017 By Becoming A Tree | Co.Design

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How Nature Documentaries Are Fake

“Everyone loves BBC’s Planet Earth, but how much of it is real?” Watch this thought-provoking video by Simon Cade  @dslrguidance  showing some of the tricks used to create compelling narratives in nature documentaries. Not fake news, but fake nature.

Check out my book Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age: How to feel better without logging off.  Paperback and Kindle.