Bringing Nature into the Home with Virtual Reality
What do you get when you combine the immersive technology of virtual reality and the theory of nature's healing powers? Sanctuary VR seeks to provide a mental space for users to indulge in the positive effects of nature without having to physically be there. It tackles the issues of isolation in an increasingly urban environment, where mental health is at risk and access to green space is limited. Being in nature is proven to improve mental health by generating positive emotions such as wonder, intrigue, optimism, awe, and calm. My project transforms these complex emotions into natural sites by picking out colors, forms, and details that help evoke these emotions. The result is a powerful tool that can be used when one needs a change of environment but doesn’t have the means to get it. Although it’s commonly known that being in nature is good for you, many people lack time due to working traditional 9-5 jobs, they lack money and resources as gas is becoming increasingly expensive, or they are not able-bodied such as the elderly or injured. This project isn’t intended to replace nature, it’s merely a tool to emulate it’s effects for those who are unable to see it for themselves. The hope is that users can return to the Sanctuary to clear their mind and fuel their soul as a form of modern therapy.