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Students design healing garden for Fargo VA Hospital

Published: 04 April 2013

NDSU architecture and landscape architecture students have been working together in a collaborative seminar to design a healing garden for the VA Hospital in Fargo, which will be used by veterans and their families, visitors and hospital personnel.

On March 28, the students presented their conceptual design to VA Hospital administration and to Land Elements, the landscape architecture firm that will further refine the students' ideas.

Joan Vorderbruggen, assistant professor of architecture, and Kathleen Pepple, assistant professor of landscape architecture, are co-teaching the seminar. It was initiated to help their students understand that one of their roles as designers is to create spaces that elevate human well-being.

Vorderbruggen said the project is helping students learn what constitutes a healing environment both indoors and outdoors, and how they can incorporate healing elements and qualities into their designs. She said they have prepared for the project a number of ways.

“Over the course of the semester, students have visited the VA Hospital site, met with the VA staff and had discussions with veterans. They have had access to readings, lectures, presentations and speakers on the topic of healing environments, and were able to listen to and speak with a woman who found healing in a garden while going through chemo and radiation treatment for cancer,” she said.

The healing garden is slated for construction this summer.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:58:52 AM