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Imaginary Flower Therapy

Photography & Edition

What if floral arrangement could help fighting stress? The answer is in this guide book to serenity.

A graduation project for the Design Academy Eindhoven.

What is proposed here has nothing to do with floral decoration. In this book, I present the method I developed for fighting anxiety and stress, a therapy imagined from floral compositions, an Imaginary Flower Therapy. This method refers to the many myths based on the meaning and the power of flowers. Medicinal plants that heal the soul, bouquets of flowers that convey secret messages, cultures that lend mysterious powers to plants. Is this reality, folklore, white magic, shamanism, placebo effect, autosuggestion, New Age business? It does not matter; you just have to believe in it.

If flowers have magic properties, why not use them to fight the sorrows of our modern life? Lack of money, time, self-confidence, sleep, ideas, trouble in communicating, in making a choice, fear of failure, fear of the future: this is what I personally experienced during my graduation year, a period of deep anxiety. Thus, I imagined a therapeutic practice that could use a floral composition as a vector to overcome the difficulties I encountered.

I researched the extraordinary properties of healing plants, the meanings of flowers and their symbolism in poetry and painting, the effects of flowers on our emotional balance. Drawing my sources from botanical studies, but also from various tales, myths and legends, pseudoscientific beliefs and other fictions, I have established a typology of plants and flowers according to their properties and to their supposed ability to solve specific problems. Each plant is chosen precisely and is associated with objects, materials, background, support or containers in direct relation with the problem to be resolved. 

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The compositions thus created, very freely inspired by Ikebana, the Japanese art of composing flowers, are the materialization of the problems to deal with. It also reflects the author’s state of mind during the process of creation. The making of a composition acts on the mind and body as an outlet to worries, like a catharsis to evacuate painful memories. Between meditation, soft medicine and shamanic ritual, the Imaginary Flower Therapy helps to overcome the difficulties of our daily life. It is a «real» cure for stress and anxiety. This book invites you to discover this method and its benefits, through the many compositions I made to share my experience.