Bloom by Gary Lim from singapore

designer's own words:

Research, studies and observations shows that stress level in Singapore is increasing over the years and that depression along with suicide cases has increased as well. On a bigger scale, it is reported that 121 million people faces depression globally.

We acknowledge that cognitive restructuring is a long term solution but it takes a long time for it to take effect. Hence we decided to approach it in a way that is rapid and temporary. We identified that distraction is a way to relieve stress temporarily, and in our project we aim to distract users by engaging multiple senses, helping them balance their state of mind.


Bloom is an interactive flower powered by arduino that responds to the users' breath. Bloom engages with the users through their tangible and intangible sense of sight, smell, touch, anticipation, curiosity, surprise, immersion and closure. There are 4 parts to bloom, the flower head, stalk, base and the technology behind it.

There are 3 different flower; rose, lavender and jasmine. Each containing a specific scent of the flower which helps comfort, de-stress and calm the users. When the user breathes into bloom, the flower head lights up with a soft warm light according to the intensity of the breath (controlled by a mic). The perforation on the flower head affords for users to blow into it. The happy face atop the flower head though straight forward and kitsch, it was intentionally designed such that it will connect directly to the users. Also, the happy face atop allows for the scent to escape into your nose when you blow through the perforation.

The clear stalk that is frosted inside along with the nature inspired graphics on the outside gives it a visual play of layers as well as capturing the light that glows from the head, amplifying the visual effect of the stalk subtly. Other than the textured graphic on the outside, the stalk vibrates subtly (controlled by a mini vibrator) when bloom lit, so as to create a holistic haptic experience.

The base is a modular system, such that the design can be multiplied into different context; for example the working desk, meeting rooms and toilet. It could be made of different material ranging from glass to plastic to concrete making full use of its material properties to achieve different visceral experiences.

With arduino, Bloom not only create individual interaction but connects your neighbouring colleagues as well. When blown into, the other flowers around the user flicker gently (connected by mesh network supported by wireless module) informing them that someone is in distress and they could possibly lend some encouragement. On a higher level, this information of bloom being activated could be collated into big data for the superiors to manage the stress level of the working environment.

Bloom helps keep people in distraction, balancing their state of mind, allows for inter-personal connectivity and at a higher level possible, policy or welfare changes.

Bloom encourages deep breathing.
Warm lighting and scented aroma offers a calm and relaxing experience.
It’s small and portable size make it ideal in offices and home studios.
Relatable graphics nudge gratification.
Different combination of Bloom make possible by modular bases.