Yoko Kawai was invited to talk on “space for well-being” to open the Chrysanthemum Show at the Botanic Garden of Smith College.
It was an honor and excitement to address the enthusiastic audience of 200 people! The Fall Mum Show has been the popular tradition at the Botanic Garden since the early 1900s.
Yoko used examples of Japanese teahouse and tea gardens to explain the idea of space for well-being. Why do they make you mindful and well? Natural elements, such as plants, water, and light are, of course, important. Yet she also emphasized the vital roles that characters or nature of the space play such as in-between-ness (Ma in Japanese), transience (Utsuroi), or mystery (Yugen).
She also discussed the positive impact of space for well-being beyond the sphere of the individuals. If you become healthy and mindful thanks to the well-designed space (your home, office, or school), will you not better contribute to your family, neighborhood, company, or society in many different ways? Please watch the video below for the entire talk.