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Manchester School of Architecture

Nosheen Aslam, Cecilia Morgan, Yasmin Nagdy


Clean air allows us to breathe safely, while space and relaxation allow us to breathe spiritually. Breathing is just as important in mediation as it is in exercise. A vital city should encourage us all to stop and breathe.

Our proposal explores how to use nature to help encourage healthy breathing on all of these levels. We’ve designed a holistic infrastructure that facilitates a smarter city, forging new wellbeing paths using scent, space and science to restore the city’s lungs. This organic network, which includes three distinct interventions, provides paths for people to understand and reconnect with their own breath, working throughout the city at different scales and across multiple demographics. The system is inspired by the intricate, collaborative and restorative capabilities of fungal mesh networks.

The first intervention is immersive VR headsets that tap into the rise of wearable health tech like smart watches, encouraging people to immerse themselves in natural scenery when their oxygen levels are low. The second is publicly accessible hubs that emit anti-microbial and anxiety-combative essential oils, using natural scent and restorative planting to purify the air and encourage relaxation. Finally, we propose digital infrastructure that builds on existing social and wellness hubs to provide an urban network for people to engage in social, community-based exercise.