Can a garden highlight the symptoms of sight loss?
Our challenge was twofold, firstly to create a garden that could appeal to people with sight loss and secondly to find a way of communicating the symptoms of some of the major eye diseases. We decided on using blocks of bold colours, plants with strong silhouettes including reflective surfaces to help people with poor sight to engage with the garden. In addition we created a path that used 25,000 pieces of slate radiating out from the centre in the pattern of an iris that could be felt through the soles of the feet and help guide people in to the garden. The second element was achieved through a number of structural elements. A water feature made of over 5000 stainless steel balls suggested the blind spots that occur for people with a diabetic retinopathy, two glass screens made by artist Jo Downs were inspired by the blurred vision created by a cataract and steel cylinders and oak blades represented the tunnel vision that can be caused by macular degeneration.