Inspire: Gardens For All
2010-2011 PARTNERS: CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, REHABILITATION INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, SEGAL DESIGN INSTITUTE AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY CHICAGO STREET FURNITURE DESIGN COMPETITION
ARCHEWORKS collaborated with the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) to create a therapeutic garden in the Washington Park neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. A new community asset and gathering place, the garden was designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, especially disabled and senior gardeners with limited mobility. This barrier-free garden combined innovative architecture and landscape elements with programmatic elements that address gardeners’ physical and restorative therapeutic needs.
ARCHEWORKS students facilitated community design workshops to elicit ideas from residents about the garden’s physical site design, and gardening and wellness programs that address specific needs and interests of disabled and other garden users. ARCHEWORKS collaborated with RIC stroke patients, occupational therapists, and therapeutic garden staff at the Chicago Botanic Garden. To further enrich this project, the team developed new partnerships with the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University and the Art Therapy graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Barrier-Free Garden was designed to bring multiple community benefits in the areas of restorative health and wellness, community building and inclusivity, an improved natural environment and improved quality of life for residents of this Southside Chicago community. The new garden, built and managed by the Chicago Botanic Garden, is located in Washington Park adjacent to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Green Youth Farm, an urban agriculture and youth education program for students attending Dyett High School.
The project grew to include the design, build and installation of modular structures for accessible gathering, learning and collaboration space at the Green Youth Farm at Dyett High School. Working with small teams of Dyett students, ARCHEWORKS alumni installed seating, a table and a shade structure for the site. The units were designed to be accessible and constructed from salvaged materials.
Project Funders: National Endowment for the Arts, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Harper Court Arts Council, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Garnetta Kramer Charitable Foundation
In-kind Donations: Auburn Supply Co., Turner Construction