Graduation Semester and Year

Spring 2024



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Prof. Letora Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Austin Allen

Third Advisor

Dr. Diane Jones Allen


Therapeutic gardens have numerous benefits, including pain reduction, improved attention, stress reduction, and medical reduction (Urban et al.,2018). Green spaces have been shown to improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional health and well-being of those staying in healthcare facilities (Urban et al.; Greening,2022). Since the 1980s, research studies have discussed the therapeutic benefits of landscape design at healthcare facilities and the importance of sustainable practices in high-performance landscape design. Many successful and expensive landscape projects have been designed and constructed on hospital sites using healing gardens or sustainable strategies (Kaplan et al. S., 1989). However, researchers suggest additional empirical studies are necessary to explore therapeutic gardens or healing advantages within healthcare facilities (Cooper Marcus,1995).

The Design thesis addresses therapeutic design principles for gardens used by people with schizophrenia. It explores how these garden experiences and their design elements improve the psychological well-being of this population at a rehabilitation center in North Texas. The study also investigates how these design elements in the therapeutic garden positively impact individuals with schizophrenia. Ultimately, the study aims to summarize design guidelines for therapeutic gardens and how individuals with schizophrenia respond to perception such as sound, smell, sense, and simulation, which provides an example of adaptive use design in a North Texas landscape.

The Qualitative methodology includes a literature review, user survey, and expert interviews. The user survey participants are those who have visited therapeutic gardens earlier or worked in a rehabilitation center or any setting related to individuals with schizophrenia. The expert interviews include professional experts, such as healthcare facility caretakers. All the collected data is further synthesized to develop the design using guidelines and design elements from the literature and empirical data. The design is then tested through photo-elicitation, where a researcher provides a series of concept sketches to make final design recommendations.


Mental health, Therapeutic Garden, Horticultural therapy, Planting Design, Psychotic, Rehabilitation


Disability Studies | Mental Disorders | Psychiatric and Mental Health



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