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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
Bruin Walk

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Spring 2005
Stress Fractures

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In America, however, we tend to foster unstable, highly competitive groups. “Most people live in a small dormitory community, travel and work in another community, vacation in another community and have family in another community,” Whybrow notes. Lacking deep connection to others, “the compassionate integration and interaction that enable us to learn essential behavioral principles that ensure health and happiness — we’ve tended to lose that. We’ve lost the community-support system that enables us to thoughtfully manage our environment.”

With these problems as a cultural given in this time-starved, information-saturated world, Whybrow says, “We have to be ingenious,” working to consciously create that which used to come naturally.

The revamped Semel Institute at UCLAINITIAL ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS for the new institute reflect its community mission, showing easy access from the streets and sidewalks of Westwood and an architecturally embracing environment. Laboratories, patient-treatment areas and community offerings will meld in a series of welcoming pavilions, each with a different focus. One pavilion might, for example, highlight culture and health and would include, along with clinic areas, classrooms for parent training, after-school tutoring for children and drop-in centers for art and music.

“Rather than your coming into the great campus through the gates, entering into the proverbial ivory tower, this would be a much more interactive portal between the community and the institute,” Whybrow says.

We all need to pay particular attention to our health in a culture that has come to breed unhealthiness, says Whybrow. “We learned a few decades ago that tobacco smoke is toxic, carcinogenic. So if you happen to smoke a lot of cigarettes, the chances of getting lung disease are extremely high. Our fast-paced world is potentially toxic as well because we haven’t figured out how to live with it. We’ve got to stand back and ask ourselves, how do we live with this very complex, supercharged environment we’ve created? How could I learn to cope ... to relax, and why is it important to relax?”


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