Treegazing was a curated walking event, part of Melbourne Design Week 2020 and invited people to reimagine the city via a focus on trees. The walks were generated by artist Heather Hesterman and Yoga Teacher Amanda Hawkey providing connections to peripatetic practice, art and nature aimed at deceleration, noticing surroundings and creating associations with established green spaces and urbanized trees.
The walks provide an opportunity for strangers to walk together as a temporary community observing garden features, design layout and established trees in one of the oldest gardens in Melbourne, Fitzroy Gardens. The route passed Treasury Gardens in a silent procession observing avenues of Morten Bay Figs. With a nod to Shinrin Yoku, “Forest Therapy” participants experienced green mindfulness as they rested on recycled matts to gaze up and contemplate arboreal canopies.
Our aim, whilst admiring the importance of plants,(Mancuso:2018) was to counter ‘plant blindness’(Schussler & Wandersee:1998) by drawing attention to design principles and trees, offering an opportunity for people to make connections with plants and trees as ‘making-kin’(Haraway:2016) whilst facilitating a ‘green mindfulness’, in highlighting the importance of biophilic design as we experience climatic changes.
TreeGazing event was delivered in part, however due to covid19, later walks were subsequently cancelled.