University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries

Ariana Sturr

Nature Dosing

Urban environments can adversely impact our mental and physical states more than we often care to acknowledge. Humans need both wilderness and civilization, but we tend to design and structure spaces in ways that provide and abuse nature as commodity and luxury. These situations of contrived natural environments give us the illusion of a healthy proximity to nature, which masks how the human hand now negatively impacts all of the world’s ecosystems.

Nature Dosing is an indoor installation and curated outdoor experience designed to tease, delight, and confuse our bodies with “doses” of nature. Viewer-participants experience packaged, modernized Nature within furniture structures in the indoor installation and are immersed in Nature at specific outdoor sites. These methods of “nature dosing” serve as models to demonstrate how to therapeutically experience the natural world, specifically within built environments.

The curated experiences are situated across eight locations on the University of Arizona’s campus. The outdoor sites direct one to spaces that reveal natural elements overtaking and existing almost in resistance to the built environment rather than spaces of pristine, well-manicured Nature. Each location is outfitted with interventions and a set of instructions, both meant to help one’s mind and body become immersed in the environment. By changing the way in which we interact with these environments we heighten our awareness of our surroundings and question the purpose of these false natural settings.

The indoor works provide clean, controlled, constrained, and commodified versions of nature that remind our bodies of the therapeutic and restorative experiences wilderness can offer. These artificial natural environments highlight euphoric sensations of being outside: sun warmed river rocks touching our skin, laying down on a grassy hillside, or letting warm sand caress our hands at the beach. These temporarily enjoyable, and potentially feasible home objects nod towards a future of mass-produced packaged Nature.

Nature Dosing ultimately complicates existing ideas about how to experience Nature by introducing products to mediate user experience of the natural environment, thus disrupting the supposed divide between what is natural and built.

River Bed
River stones, wood, steel, fabric, infra-red ceramic heat lamps
76in x 36in x 20in

Beach Day
Wood, sand, heating plate
23in x 27in x 31in

Nap in the Park
Wood, turf, foam
78in x 32in x 16in

Sounds We Cannot Hear
Poem, vinyl

Nature Dosing Map (physical)
Inkjet print
11in x 17in

Nature Dosing Map (digital)
Ipad, Google Maps

Documentation of Nature Dosing Locations
Video, cork

MFA 2022