Canada Blooms Garden by asensio_mah and Harvard GSD


This garden was designed by asensio_mah in collaboration with students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It was installed at the 2012 Canada Blooms garden show in Toronto.

The installation was an extensive garden that unwraps and twists to create larger garden “pockets” while simultaneously providing an undulating surface that embeds a secret micro garden within its thickness. Garden parcels are located in the spaces created in between the unfolding surfaces, while smaller micro moss gardens are located within the thickness of the surfaces themselves, inviting visitors to interact with gardens of different scales throughout the installation.

The surface itself unwraps to achieve many tasks, defining and framing protected planter spaces, creating multiple orientations for the moss garden, casting shade, while also forming a twisted surface that undulates while structurally stabilizing itself.  As a system, the surface is able to unwrap at different angles to provide different scales of pocket gardens as well as different degrees of shade, producing different microclimates on the moss surface and within the garden pockets.  This allowed the designers to frame the distribution of different plant species based on suitable microclimatic zones produced by the overall installation form.

In response to the brief for developing a temporary garden, a modular assembly approach for the installation was adopted.  The overall organization of the garden is an accumulation of 190 individual boxes,  that on their own may be purposed and subsequently re-purposed after the event as planter boxes.  This allowed for the installation to take on a utility beyond the short one week program of the garden show and to be disassembled and subsequently redistributed as individual units.  The ambition for the installation was to develop an economic and transformable series of artifacts that culminate to produce many different potential configurations or larger scale garden fields by simply adjusting the rotation between each set of boxes, allowing for many different future installation configurations.

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