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An artistic, edgy, and educational University of Delaware exhibit of "Springtime in Paris," which highlighted the ultimate in sustainable gardening and rain harvesting, earned a special achievement award for creativity and design at the Philadelphia Flower Show, where it was displayed over the weekend.
The interdisciplinary project was led by Jules Bruck, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, and Jonathan Cox, instructor in art, who, along with students and faculty from across the University, created the two-story structure resembling a Paris street scene.
Said Bruck of the award, "It feels amazing to win the award. We are all so proud that the award highlights creativity. We feel this is a perfect compliment to our process and our final product, because we have emphasized creativity on all aspects of this project. It really gave the entire team a boost yesterday when we found out we won an award. I heard many of the students say that even if they are graduating they would love to come back to UD and be a part of this again next year."
Cox added, "Winning the creativity award gave us all a boost of adrenaline after months of hard work preparing for the show. Having the combination of art and science students makes sense when you are incorporating design, creativity and the natural world into a cohesive educational installation. We were all grinning ear to ear as we talked to visitors yesterday and further explained the benefits of rain harvesting to the public."
The exhibit included two facades -- a flower shop on one side and a winery on the other. A vibrant cafe stood in the front and illustrated rain coming out of gutters into decorative rain storage systems that could be used to water the street trees and containers. The backyard showed the "Paris underground" and the "basements" of the two shops.
"You own a house, you're at the Philadelphia Flower Show and you go, 'Oh, I never thought about harvesting rain to wash my car or to water my plants,'" said Bruck of the group's goal in designing such a unique model house. "So the idea of building a house is that visitors can translate the information really easily to their own scale."
The exhibition was funded through the Delaware Design Institute in a project called Art of Sustainable Gardening.
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