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THE PLANT POD PROPOSAL BRIEF A project that protests deforestation and encourages urban greenery.

THE PROBLEM Every year more than 8.5 million hectares of tropical rainforests are being razed. Deforestation is a direct cause of the 6th mass extinction of planet Earth, an ongoing mass extinction with a rapid rate of 27000 species disappearing annually.

“With the current rate of extinction, 20% of all species would be gone by 2022. And if the rate of human destruction continues, one half of all species will disappear in 100 years.” -E.O.Wilson, one of the greatest biologists of our time

As these species vanish from the globe, the world will be a poorer and less colorful place. But do we care? So little action is taken that I doubt it. Why don’t people care? Perhaps it’s because we all live in our own bubble. We miss out what is really happening out there in nature, we don’t see and we don’t feel. We have no connection with nature and therefore no love for it. If one has no love for something, why should he care?

“I think that our distance from nature is already a cliché. City dwellers often have no relationship with animals or greenery.” -Edina Tokodi, creator of the “living graffiti”

So, the problem is there isn’t enough element of nature in the bubble we live in. We need more to remind us of worlds beyond our walls.

EXAMPLES A very good example will be Edina Tokodi’s Living Graffiti, where she would create images on wall using living moss or scrubs.   Edina builds on her characteristic meme of shadows-of wild-life — the fuzzy and simple reminders for urbanites that there is a wilderness out there beyond our cities. “For me, the reaction of life on the street is also very important. I am curious about how people receive them, if they just leave them alone, or if they want to, take care of them or dismantle them.” Said Edina. -article by Abigail Doan, Inhabitat

MY APPROACH My approach on raising environmental awareness is also using plants as the element. Since plants best represents nature and the issue of deforestation. The idea is to design a device that could hold seeds in it, and could be hidden anywhere in the city environment without people noticing it. It will reveal itself as the plant grows up. It delivers the message: nature can occur anywhere, as long as we don’t stop it. The devise is to be made out of degradable recycled material (fast food paper bags etc.), so as the plant grows, the package degrades and disappears. The package is only needed to hold soil & water and protect the seeds while it grows, once the plant is big enough, it can sustain itself as the package fades away. These seed packets shall be largely distributed across the city environment, such as hanging from the walls of alley ways, hidden behind a sign board, stuck under public seating, and all sorts of unexpected places. This can also test the relationship between people and plants. Will people remove a living plant just because it is growing in the wrong place, for instance on a public chair? Or would people rather enjoy their presence? After all, who are we to decide where should a living plant grow and where it shouldn’t? Earth is a place for all life form to share. If this project is a success, another similar devise would be properly designed, and released as a product to be used as household item. It is a vessel that holds plants, but most importantly, it should make planting very easy. For instance, watering should be automatic, so the owner doesn’t have to constantly remember to water the plant. Easy planting encourages the laziest people to bring plants home. When everyone has plants at home, the connection between plants and human is improved. So the next time one sees a report on deforestation, he could feel the pain too.

The project structure: The informal urban practice of distributing seeds across the city, leads to the opportunity for a product that encourages urban greenery.

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