The large luminescent flower that blossomed near the corner of 37th and Locust Walk wasn’t just another pretty bunch of petals. Created by a group of graduate students from PennDesign and Penn Engineering as part of the Social Impact Project, the six-foot-tall interactive sculpture’s translucent petals opened and closed in response to hits on Instagram and Twitter (#feedblossom). By blooming for two weeks in September, BLOSSOMInteractive drew attention to food insecurity in the Philadelphia area and highlighted the work of organizations like Philabundance, Broad Street Ministry, the Food Trust, and the Coalition Against Hunger. An estimated one in five Philadelphians are believed to be food insecure (not knowing where their next meal will come from).
The students were Sarai Williams, a master’s candidate in city planning and landscape architecture, and two master’s candidates in integrated product design, Phillip Chang and Jono Sanders. Advising them was Julie Donofrio GCP’07 GFA’07, the managing director of PennPraxis, the design school’s social-outreach arm.—S.H.