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Still time to take a walk in the Digital Forest

Still time to take a walk in the Digital Forest

  • Date03 July 2018

Nearly 6,000 people have already visited Royal Holloway, University of London’s Digital Forest and there is still time for people to come and take a walk through the intriguing exhibition which closes on July 14, 2018.

Digital Forest

Come and visit the Digital Forest

Royal Holloway’s cognitive scientist, Professor Polly Dalton, helped create the multi-sensory indoor forest, complete with digital images and recorded sounds, to focus on the notion that natural environments can restore people’s mental resources and help them focus their attention.

The exhibition uses sculptural forms, tactile experiences and multiple projections and is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, where science and art meet to create a research paper on people’s behaviour in calming surrounds.

To help with the creative study, students have been taking part by being measured on their attention span before and after walking through the Digital Forest, to see if after their walk they are more alert and focused. 

The exhibition also helped during exam time and gave students a calm place to take a break during the stressful period by interacting with the environment.

The display is free to view and is housed in the university’s Emily Wilding Davison Building.

Professor Polly Dalton said: “Spending time in nature can help us concentrate and Digital Forest has been designed to have similar effects.

“We have been running a series of experiments to test the psychological impacts of the installation which has been very useful for our students during their exams. The research will help us understand the benefits that art can bring to people's everyday lives.”

Madi Boyd, added: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to take over and transform the large exhibition space at Royal Holloway.  I hope visitors will take the chance to come along before it closes and enjoy losing themselves in our forest and emerge feeling like they have experienced the sublime effect that a real forest has on the senses.”

Some of the comments made by visitors:

  • “Beautiful – made my skin tingle. Loved the depth.”
  • “Very relaxing.”
  • “This was the best, very calming during my exams.”
  • “So restful. I loved it.”
  • “I need a good place to chill and this was perfect.”
  • “I felt restored and very relaxed after leaving. What an enchanting space.”
  • “It’s incredibly easy to spend a good chunk of time in there (at least 30 minutes this time). An incredibly important installation. I’ll be back. Wonderful.”

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