Press release

Planting an idea: student designs plantable prescription form

Published on 31 August 2022

A University of Dundee student, inspired by a city initiative that allows healthcare professionals to prescribe time outdoors, has designed a seeded prescription form to encourage people to spend more time in nature.

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A University of Dundee student, inspired by a city initiative that allows healthcare professionals to prescribe time outdoors, has designed a seeded prescription form to encourage people to spend more time in nature.

Kirubhagar Ballah Krisnaah,  28, chose to explore if plantable seeded paper can increase engagement in gardening and green spaces as part of his MSc Product Design course. His work features in the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Masters Show 2022, which opens this week.

It is widely known that spending time outdoors can vastly improve health and wellbeing. In Dundee, doctors can prescribe spending time in nature to patients through the Green Health Prescription pathway, a project developed by the Dundee Green Health Partnership.

Intrigued by the initiative, Kirubghagar, (28AGE), set out to develop the idea as part of his Masters project. As part of his research he spent time with volunteers in community gardens and spoke with local GPs, and his end product sees the Green Health Prescription redesigned on plantable paper lined with cress seeds.

“I had no idea where this project would take me,” said Kirughagar.

“My second semester module focused on research through design, and I had to look at community health gardens. I spent time in a community garden in Inverkeithing as part of my research and it was there I found out about green health prescriptions.

“After speaking with local GPs, I learned that it can often be difficult to encourage individuals with certain ailments to spend time outdoors. I thought, how can we motivate them to go out? What’s an easy way to encourage them to step out into nature? That’s where the concept came from.

“I initially thought to glue seeds to the bottom of the paper prescription but soon found that using plantable seeded paper was more efficient. The only issue was finding someone who was willing to have me use the paper in their printer.!

“The idea is that people who receive the prescription can simply tear a piece off and plant it. I specifically chose cress seeds as they will grow in a couple of days - for it to have an impact, you need to see the change happening in front of you.

“The idea is to make the process seamless and reduce one variable from the equation so that the individuals who have been prescribed "’green prescriptions’" have a better chance of taking up the gardening or other outdoor activities to improve their health"

Kirubghagar’s product was designed purely for display in the Masters Show.

The Masters Show is a staple  an annual event that has attracted thousands hundreds of visitors every over the years, both in-person and online.

More than 80 students will be displaying inspirational and thought-provoking work created on the Animation and VFX MSc, Art & Humanities MFA, Art, Science & Visual Thinking MFA, Comics & Graphic Novels MSc, Design for Business MSc, Design for Healthcare MSc, Fine Art MSc, Forensic Art & Facial Imaging, Medical Art MSc and Product Design MSc.

Enquiries

Hannah Adams

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385131

hadams001@dundee.ac.uk