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Editorial Board Message

A message from Real Eguchi, Ground Advisory Panel Member

It has been a great pleasure and a wonderful honour to help shape this issue of Ground.

Somatics is a topic that is dear to my heart and of growing professional interest as a result of directing my energy from running, yoga, and meditation towards a creative, somatic movement practice.

In that we embody ongoing natural process, there can be no doubt that how we perceive and treat our own bodies directly influences how we engage with nature beyond our own skin, and perhaps how we design. Given the growing environmental issues that are impacting human health and the wellbeing of other species, why can we not shift gears towards a more compassionate existence? In this issue of Ground, we begin to explore the criticality of embodied intelligence to landscape architecture.

As neurobiology and other sciences that focus on somatics continue to inform us of the dynamic, integral links between mind, body, community, and environment, landscape architects can help move us beyond a culture of fear and the need for overt control. May we help make a shift towards a culture that acknowledges emotional injury that will in turn help us embrace social and ecological diversity.

Psychotherapist and author Francis Weller notes: “Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is some- thing feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviors of our culture. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life-force… Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated.”

As we somatically engage with our diverse array of embodied emotions and embrace loss and grief, we restore our relationship to our own inner landscape and thus to the outer landscape within which we dwell. I believe that the design of healthy, lived-in landscapes can help with this reconnection.

I have learned so much from the research that was necessary to assist in the publication of this issue of Ground. Thank you to the many people who gifted their energy to the process.

Finally, congratulations to this year’s recipients of awards included here in Ground. Your dedication to excellence is critical in elevating the profession and, in turn, provides more opportunities for landscape architects to address society’s challenges.

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