The Baby Effect

baby effect

What is it about babies that immediately cause people to slow down, smile and lend a helping hand? What can I learn from these little beings who so easily create an environment of peace and understanding?

Is it because they are small and cute? No, that can’t be it. Whenever I have “small and cute” plants installed on landscape projects, clients are typically disappointed and wait impatiently for fast and furious growth.

Is it because they represent pure innocence? They are completely unbiased beings interested only in their most fundamental needs for survival.

Is it because you have no idea what they’ll do next? Just tiny little morsels of entertainment… with kicks and flailing arms and laughs and cries.

Or is it because the future is in their hands? Instilling hope for a future where they can grow and prosper.

So how might the secret power of babies be put to use in landscape architecture? Designs must meet fundamental needs for survival, allow for the unexpected and instill hope.

Comments (2)

2 Responses to “The Baby Effect”

  1. Some interesting thoughts here. Babies do have an effect on people. Men, Women, othe Children. Harnessing that power would be useful..

  2. I love this idea… Harnessing puppy power. You may be able to save the world if you can tap into this. (No joke.) However I think that this post misses out on a major avenue of thought: The strength of biology. It is not only our conscious minds that tell us to take on parental behavior–slowing down, smiling, lending a helping hand–it is also deep rooted visual cues (i.e. a baby’s large head, eye placement in the lower region of the skull) that trigger very specific activity in the brain. Is it not possible to tap into these regions (or others) with the poetry of a landscape? Can we go beyond attractive plant placement and work to elicit specific biological reactions? I’ll leave this to the architect to answer.