June 23, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Exploring the therapeutic aspects of gardening, students at Academy of Art San Francisco, under the tutelage of Michael Osborne, designed Bloom, a concept that utilizes plantable paper with a “prescriptive” text to communicate the product’s medical application.
Using the packaging as an expression of the therapeutic process, the box opens to form a planter that can sit on your desk while you work.
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, recent research on psychological development and education has demonstrated the positive influence of exposing individuals of all ages and abilities to the natural world and plant-rich environments.
The therapeutic benefits of peaceful garden environments have been understood since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and considered to be the “Father of American Psychiatry,” reported that garden settings held curative effects for people with mental illness.
Horticultural therapists create garden spaces that accommodate people with a wide range of abilities. People with physical or mental disabilities benefit from gardening experiences as part of the therapy programs, as they learn skills, adaptations, and gardening methods that allow for continued participation at home.
Bloom was designed by Jon Patterson, Risaki Koyama, Sali Golzari, and Karen Cheng.