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Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners IxD master degree project is looking into the ways to support and motivate amateur gardener and as such to inspire healthier nutritional choices.

Degree work by Maria Zenkevich, interaction design master student Tutored by Kent Lindberg, designer at Interactive Institute Ume책 e-mail: maria.zenkevich@gmail.com project log-book: http://emerald-seed.tumblr.com

Ume책 Institute of Design 2013


Contents Title page & contact info Contents Brief Research area Design values & Target audience Relevance rationale Initial comparative analysis Methods & Project timeline Deliverables

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p. 2 p. 4 p. 6 p. 7 p. 8 p. 10 p. 16 p.17

Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

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Brief Gardening is nearly the best thing an individual can do to improve all aspects of personal and social live.1 Yet, at an amateur level today, it is barely supported. As a novice gardener you often feel forced to switch to full-time farming or simply to abandon this complex and time-consuming task. This degree project aims are: • to make gardening less overwhelming and more engaging for novice gardeners, • to educate and get novice gardeners familiar with the new botanical medium and the process, • to make gardening a more present and valuable everyday activity.

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Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


“Planting a garden is one of the most powerful things an individual can do to reduce personal carbon footprint...

1. MICHAEL POLLAN Article Why Bother? The New York Times April 20, 2008

...and to reduce your sense of self dependence.

“

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

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Research area There are a few gardening contexts and knowledge areas I will be investigating in my research.

gardeners individuals, families and their children, their friends, extended family & neighbors, co-workers, local community, farmers

government local government, food & nutrition authorities

gardening establishments agricultural education establishments, farmer’s market, community garden organisers and participants

knowledge gardening processes, steps and procedures, medicinal and nutritional values, gardening rituals & “words of wisdom“, history plants, phytologist, legal & economical perspectives, alternative medicine as a carrier of traditional knowledge etc.

learning techniques learning curve, expectation management, etc.

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Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


Design values It’s easier to talk about a final design in terms of what it is not going to be. And it is not going to be a smart-pot, as a static alert system. Currently undefined, the final design should respond to the two following values. 1) It should make gardening simpler by providing deep understanding of the underlying processes as well as of their implications, rather then a simple alert. 2) It should be flexible and respect different gardening contexts used today, be it a pot, a greenhouse or an outside community garden.

Not a smart-pot!

Target audience The target user is an urban citizen who has little or no land as well as little or no experience in gardening. However, the start enthusiasm and interest in planting is required from a target user for the designed experience to be useful and fun.

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

Learning curve

Time

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Relevance rationale Despite many negative forecasts, we find a lot of enthusiasm around gardening today. There is a huge increase in small farms and organic agriculture.1 Alongside we find many interesting projects and a lot of effort put into finding a successful gardening system, product or service. The following inspiring examples (Initial comparative analysis - p.10) can shed light on the aspects of gardening that need to be reinforced, redesigned or simply linked to streamline the gardening process.

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Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


“Just a few years ago, consumers’ fears about pesticides were trivialized and organic agriculture was dismissed as impossible at large scale.

1. AMORY STARR Local Food: A Social Movement? [p.1] 2010 SAGE Publications

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

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Initial comparative analysis

1. Windowfarm

TED talk by Britta Riley A garden in my apartment:

Windowfarms began as an experiment developing environmental solutions through open source collaboration and has evolved into a social enterprise, a successful business that organically fulfills a mission toward healthier people and a healthier planet.

http://www.ted.com/talks/britta_ riley_a_garden_in_my_apartment. html

2. R&D-I-Y

Research and develop it yourself project’s website:

Open source collaboration platform where participants from all over the world share their insights on a hydroponic windowfarm. Project illustrates a great way to develop, test and apply complex and very practical ideas.

http://www.rndiy.org

3. Propaganda gardening

Ted talk by Pam Warhurst How we can eat our landscapes:

A group of activists are invading the city space with vegetable gardens in a little British town Todmorden. The movement starts to grow to other cities where more and more people can find the benefits of a city garden.

http://www.ted.com/talks/pam_ warhurst_how_we_can_eat_our_ landscapes.html

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Windowfarm store: http://www.windowfarms.com

Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


5. Click&Grow 8. Botanicalls 1. Windowfarms

Amateur

9. MinFarm 6. Farm Hack

2. R&D-I-Y hydroponic vertical farm

7. Garden Registry

3. Propaganda gardening in Todmorden

4. Sky Greens in Singapore

Professional

Automated

Time -consuming

Other points of comparison: Personal

Communal

Low Production

High-production

Low Engagement

High Engagement

Informative

Alerting

Rural

Urban

Cheap

Expensive

etc...

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

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Initial comparative analysis

4. Sky Greens

Sky Greens vertical garden in Singapore website:

Ensuring food supply resilience is important to land-scarce countries like Singapore. Sky Greens has shown that it is possible for high-rise vertical farming in urban cities to achieve significant higher yields per unit area of land.

http://skygreens.appsfly.com/home

5. Click&Grow

Click&Grow website: http://www.clickandgrow.com

Click&Grow is an easy-to-use electronic smart-pot that grows plants without watering and fertilizing. No knowledge about gardening required. Everything is taken care by the smart technology.

6. Farm Hack

Farm Hack online community website:

Farm Hack is a farmer-driven community to develop, document and build tools for resilient agriculture. The process is accelerated by connecting farmers with other farmers, engineers, designers, architects and other allies through inperson events on farms or at institutions, and through an online forum.

http://www.youngfarmers.org/ practical/farm-hack/

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Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


5. Click&Grow 8. Botanicalls 1. Windowfarms

Amateur

9. MinFarm 6. Farm Hack

7. Garden Registry

2. R&D-I-Y hydroponic vertical farm

3. Propaganda gardening in Todmorden

4. Sky Greens in Singapore

Professional Time -consuming

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

Automated

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Initial comparative analysis

7. Garden Registry

Garden Registry website: http://gardenregistry.org

An online map and a networking tool created to connect urban gardeners of San Francisco. The website is used to register the existing and potential food production zones within the city limits of San Francisco.

8. Botanicalls

Botanicalls website: http://www.botanicalls.com

A cheap assemble-it-yourself equivalent of a plant sensor. In this project plants are given the ability to call and text message people to request assistance. People who are unsure of their ability to effectively care for growing things are given visual and aural clues using common human methods of communication.

9. MinFarm MinFarm allows people build a virtual farm online that is grown locally, by farmers. A customer can choose whatever veg, fruit, dairy, herbs and livestock, they like, and watch them grow online.

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MinFarm: http://www.minfarm.com

Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich


5. Click&Grow 8. Botanicalls 1. Windowfarms

Amateur

9. MinFarm 6. Farm Hack

7. Garden Registry

2. R&D-I-Y hydroponic vertical farm

3. Propaganda gardening in Todmorden

4. Sky Greens in Singapore

Professional Time -consuming

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

Automated

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Methods I will start my process with market research united with user studies. It will provide rich insight on user needs that are not satisfied by gardening products and services today.

At the same time, I will be getting expert opinions on professional gardening, gardening education, food supply united with economical and nutritional values comparison.

Project timeline February 28 - 01

March 04 - 08

11 - 15

18 - 22

25 - 01

04 - 08

Research presentation Tutoring

11 - 15

18 - 22

25 -

Ideation presentation Tutoring

Traveling

Research

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Research & Synthesis

Ideation & Synthesis

Degree Project by Maria Zenkevich

Desig & sta


Deliverables: written report, exhibition poster, a design presentation and a combination of a short video and/or an experiential prototype walking through the main features of the design proposal.

The final concept will be developed in a set of collaborative workshops and brainstorms. Its features and aspects will be tested both with common users and professionals of the field.

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April

May

01 - 05

08 - 12

15 - 19

Design presentation

29 - 03

Final report

Tutoring

gn, Testing, art of Prototyping

22 - 26

Tutoring

06

-10

13 - 17

Final presentation Tutoring

Report & Prototyping Storytelling & Prototyping

Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners

20 - 24

Podium setup

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Vegetable Gardening for novice gardeners