updated 1/3/2013 4:20:37 PM ET 2013-01-03T21:20:37

The ultimate indoor/outdoor living environment can now include indoor lawns and furniture made out of sod, thanks to an innovative project at Cornell University.

"Cornell students have installed indoor lawns in several libraries and lobbies to help calm everyone for final exams," Syl Kacapyr, public information officer at Cornell, told Discovery News.

Kacapyr shared that "sections of turf are creating grassy oases of calm in the lobbies of Olin and Mann libraries, as well as Duffield Hall and the Physical Sciences Building. Potted plants and comfortable chairs are placed around the grass, encouraging students to lounge there during one of the most stressful times of the academic year."

Senior Ryan Allen-Parrot and junior Gilad Meron installed the projects, along with many other students from the school's Department of Design and Environmental Analysis.

“Being in touch with nature helps people be calmer, and they feel refreshed and productive,” Eveline Ferretti, the library’s public programs and communications administrator, was quoted as saying in a press release. “The library is the perfect place for it.”

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Meron first installed a lawn in Mann Library in the fall, noting that "it's great to see people willing to lie down in the grass and just relax there. The main goal is really to make people happy."

Marcia Eames-Sheavly, a senior extension associate at Cornell and director of the Garden-Based Learning program, said she understands the sod’s calming lure.

“Sod furniture is thrilling, since, unlike other horticultural art, which may require a long period of time to come to life, it offers instant gratification. Students have responded to the joy of working hard and collaboratively, shoulder to shoulder, to plan and implement them, and then, to enjoy the seating, and witness others doing the same,” Eames-Sheavly said. “We know from research that time spent in nature fosters diverse facets of our well-being, from cognitive function, to lower stress levels. They are easy to create, and do not require elaborate materials.”

For tips on how to create your own indoor sod furniture or lawn, go to this Cornell page.

© 2012 Discovery Channel


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