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We showcase the skills and talents of people living with mental health issues.

Patternhouse is a research based design project that strives to innovate the recovery process for people dealing with mental health issues.

That’s why we invented a unique workflow that allows to train and gain back skills while being social and creating something original.

The workflow is clearly structured and is made of a few simple work steps that are easy to assimilate. A graphic visualization of the entire work process helps explaining it clearly to all patients on their very first day in the workshop.

The leitmotif for all activities is the creation of patterns, be it works on paper or fabric. All designs derive from the combination of basic geometric shapes, use of colour and an experimental research practice.
Inspiration from contemporary art paired with accessible artisanal methods are the ingredients for creative expression.

One of the most important features of the patternhouse workflow is the absolute guarantee of success.


Regardless of the respective mental health state, form of the day, the existing skills or previous knowledge: The workflow can be adapted to the individual needs of every single patient.

People with pronounced psychological impairments cope with the work steps stress- and fear-free. For people with an unimpaired comprehension, the activity is intellectually interesting and challenging enough.

With our exercise sheets, the Pattern Papers, everyone can start “designing” patterns from scratch, simply by copying, colouring and recombining. By copying patients learn how designing patterns works. Colouring the Pattern Papers relaxes and promotes concentration for the moment. The Pattern Papers are as easy to use as they are individual in their results.


This is absolutely stress-free, and at the same time, the first step to autonomously designing a unique pattern.

Designing patterns is a game with endless possibilities to combine shapes and colours. We encourage patients to develop their own interpretation and expression of from.

Every patient has a scrapbook, a personal folder to gather all exercises and research. It is a source of inspiration and a tangible boost for self-esteem. It shows how many ideas one has already developed and can motivate on less good days.

Where it started


Initially, I developed the patternhouse method for and applied at Casa Basaglia, a psychiatric facility in Sinich in South Tyrol, Italy.

The creative workshop of Casa Basaglia employs internal and external patients. The length of their stay varies greatly. Some visit the workshop only for two weeks, others stay a few months or also for several years.
The range of manual skills is also very wide.

My aim was to develop a new creative workflow that works for everyone – regardless of the existing technical skill level or previous knowledge or mental health status. To achieve this, the work process also needed to be adaptable to the daily form and rehabilitative needs of all patients.

With the help of Casa Basaglia, I was able to identify all these needs and put them into practice, eventually resulting in the patternhouse method.

I am very happy that patients as well as employees at Casa Basaglia were open to it and have established the method in their workshop with great success.

Each cushion is one of a kind and is made of high quality materials. The sales revenue sustains the initiative, enabling it to expand and evolve.

Some examples of the Casa Basaglia workshop

We showcase the skills
and talents of people living
with mental health issues.


Team and Contact

Martina Drechsel / Founder, Design Research and Creative Direction
Dr. Verena Perwanger / Psychiatrist and Primary of the psychiatric service sanitary unit Merano, Italy
Carolin Kiesswetter / Psychologist and Head of the workshop Casa Basaglia

Magdalena Lageder / Psychologist
Evi Pitscheider / Expert for textile creation and recycling, Tailor
Alessandro Laudando / Expert for psychiatric rehabilitation
Catiuscia di Falco / Social health operator
Annalisa dal Foglio / Social health operator
Susanna Paoletti / Social health operator


The Monocle Shop
Via Dante 26
39100 Merano, South Tyrol, Italy

Sois Blessed
Prannerstraße 10
80333 Munich, Germany