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Editor: Brayden Hiscock Graphical Coodinators: Brayden Hiscock Liz Smith & Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera Printed by: Cornerstone Press Sponsors: Cornerstone Press Ball & Doggett

Editorial Contributors: Myf Halton Harrison Soroka Oliver Howes Liz Smith Rani Shanks Sean Wanna Thien Pham Tom He Alexandra Cooke Kristen Kocev Hunter Eccelston Akira Yamada Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera Coverpage: Liz Smith instagram


letter from the editor. trajectory /tra-jeck-toor-ee noun; the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces. In looking forward, propelling towards the future we must also look to the past; in a sense analysing our flight path to ensure perfectly efficient trajectory. This issue addresses our responsibility to the bright future, but also acknowledges that this world needs to change. With the looming presence of near future threats like global warming, depleting natural resources and the inadequacy of current world leaders the world is due for change, no matter if the world ready or not. Social change is slowly paving the way for a more open minded and accepting future, the inadequacies of our world leaders is being pointed out more and more and people are waking up to the environmental toll we have on our planet.


The future is approaching at rapid speed. As technology progresses so do we and as designers we must match this ever-evolving technology, design to last the ages, and most importantly create useful designsBut hey, we chose this profession didn’t we? We are the given forces needed to take action. The trajectory of our future is in our hands. but the direction we propel forward and that direction is dependant on our actions. —Brayden Lee Hiscock Editor.


06. DIY FASHION FUTURES myf halton


26 A.I.W.A. tom he




42 GRANDMAS HANDS kristen kocev

32 SPACE ON A PLATE alexandra cooke

54 SMART GARDENS akira yamada

48 DEMOCRATIC ECOSYSTEM hunter eccelston



This fashion movement has forged new local communities and businesses right in our backyard’s throughout Brisbane’s inner-city.

THE COLLECTOR & THE RETAILER. You don’t have to wonder too far out of the city to find Brisbane’s best streetwear collection at When you look through your Lil J’s Vintage in the Valley. wardrobe how many vintage One woman power show Jacquie pieces are there? And how did Cowan founder of Lil J’s Vintage they get there? This trend has and Bizzels Biggest Garage Sale weaselled it’s way into cupboards in Paddington has been collecting through weekend rummages, vintage specifically Ralph Lauren Depop purchases and hauls from streetwear since she was a teen. Vinnies and now firmly dictates Her growing business is about to the way we communicate have its third birthday making it through clothes. one of the longest running vintage brands in Brisbane. To discover The flourish of this fashion more about how this movement movement within our own city succession, I turned to Jacquie is explored through a vintage to see how she found her own collector plus retailer, an artist and success withinthis movement. a designer. This movement is shaping a generation of young creatives whilst taking on the fast fashion industry. That we a younger generation have the power push for change and design a new future for ourselves through vintage fashion.


words and imagery Myf Halton retouching Harison Soroka


never has your grandmothers wardrobe 8

looked so good.



Lil J’s vintage came about naturally in Brisbane as “it was a forecast kind of thing. I was seeing it happen in Sydney and Melbourne. I’ve always been passionate about streetwear clothes ever since I had a garage, to now being one of the largest vintage markets in Brisbane with a new retail space in the valley.

There’s just something about it, it just

disposable income.” Says Jacquie describing how she founded her business. Her business evolved over the years starting out as a vintage market in her parents

Through the success of markets such as Bizzells this scene is taking over Brisbane.

Jacquie’s initiative and drive has allowed this scene to flourish in Yet her markets are a key aspect a local context allowing young of her success. One of the fundamental parts of this scene is individuals to indulge in their own the rarity. Being able to find these personal fashion fantasies. This garmets for cheap prices and then movement encourages us to push boundaries and explore our own holding on to them. individualism. “I take a lot of pride in my THE ARTIST & polo collection. I know it’s THE INDIVIDUAL. just materialistic stuff but it’s In the age of the individual unique something that brings me joy fashion is a guaranteed way to and makes me happy. It’s like a get people’s attention. Whether modern-day stamp collection.” it be online or in person vintage fashion is what we are turning. This encapsulates a part of this With growing accessibility and movement that is more than just affordability vintage fashion is fashion, it’s a game. This illusive propelling the young aspect forces a raw honesty in individual forward. your own personal style. That it ignores financial, geographical Artist and QUT Student Nick and personal factors that have Tossman is easily spottable on the previously had the ability to exclude classes of people. Instead Kelvin Grove campus sporting floral nighties and thick black it can often come down to luck eyeliner. and being able to hold onto a garmet long enough to then be His ostentatious style draws you able to flip it for profit. in, never has your grandmothers wardrobe looked so good. His experimental approach to fashion started a year ago when he started thrifting and allowing himself to dress differently.


“Through thrifting I’ve discovered more of myself. It feels like my skin. It feels more myself. I used to see clothes almost like a uniform.” Nick confesses. Whilst fashion has always been a self-expressive tool we are seeing a shift in it being used in more innovative ways that amplify and empower us. It was also his “journey into women’s clothes. It didn’t really matter what section it came from as long as I could put it on my body I would wear it and experimented with that. I personally really liked it and felt like it was more me.”

new post-modern approach to fashion. Emerging designers are choosing to adapt to the changing industry rather than working against it. Bonnie tells that she is sourcing second-hand pieces to reconstruct them into modern styles. Whether it be for fabric, a basic pattern or the colour palette this innovative approach to fashion design is also a win for sustainability and the environment.

One of the biggest issues facing the fashion industry is fast fashion and the toll it takes on the environment. “It really scares me like the quantity of clothes in Zara As we move away from our own gender stereotypes this movement just goes to waste every single day. It’s just so has allowed each individual overwhelming.” Says Bonnie as the control to choose an option someone passionate about this not so readily available in a commercial space. This implicates issue. As we young individuals a change in the way we dress and become more socially aware on foresees emerging gender neutral issues such as fast fashion second hand fashion and new ways fashion and a push away from of designing clothes provide a commercial brands. natural shift in the way we buy and wear clothes. THE DESIGNER. With an influx of smelly old This movement is one that clothes on our shelves that only keeps growing and has no doubt look amazing on all an intangible allure about it of us where does this leave that keeps us coming back for upcoming fashion designers. In more. This global groundswell a competitive industry, emerging designers already have to take on movement has created the fast fashion industry let alone communities and is growing small second hand stores run by charity local businesses. We the younger generation are propelling second and vivacious 23 year olds like Jacquie selling second hand stock. hand fashion into the future and challenging conventional production methods. Realising this Fashion student and emerging potential is incredibly important designer Bonnie Alexander has for our own personal growth in had a love affair with vintage order to design a better future fashion since her adolescence. With vintage shopping becoming for ourselves. an increasing norm and having sustainable orientated designers are adapting to the market in a




Setting out to read this novel I was unsure of what to expect: biography, politics, comedy, drama, romance, self-help; there was potential for it all. The exact potential that arises from a semifictional retelling of this classic tale. The tale in question being that of a Mr. George Benson. George Benson for those of you who do not know was a past member of the British conservative party, operational in the student riddled Bristol area; who after the nation of entirely in favor of Brexit was rendered the scapegoat of their frustrations. Through a variety of entirely questionable and well broadcasted tactics they well and truly destroyed his public image and a la the popular 1997 hit by Chumbawamba (“I get knocked down but I get up again you are never gonna keep me down�) Benson embarked on a desperate bid to regain face.


This resulted in a national broadcast of the former tory, with minimal physical, mental or lingual training, having himself launched from a cannon 33km across the English Channel and into France. The stunt earned him international acclaim and in doing it he managed to raise literally billions of dollars for charity although sadly his body was never recovered and to this day his survival and/or whereabouts remain a mystery. The book was captivating yet at some points excessively detailed, some would call it overly speculative others, questionably poignant. Embracing an intensely non-linear narrative it is a wonder that readers are able to salvage some semblance of a story at all. But alas; the reward one gets when they do is nothing short of wondrous and the telling of such a surreal tale in an equally surreal fashion was a bold move that payed off.

This is the tale of a man’s quite literal trajectory from Britain and into the arms of Europe in a time of high personal stress is perhaps –in some way—a good metaphor for the whole Brexit debacle. Take it how you will but the morale sentiment while unclear is certainly present. A must read, if you are into that sort of thing.

words Oliver Howes imagery Liz Smith



The UN estimates that by the year 2050 that two thirds of the global population will be living within urban environments. Cities will need to be able to cater to and sustain the growing demands on their infrastructure. But as demands grow, what will happen if our governments lack the resources to sustain it? Will corporations, rather than government, become those in charge of our place making and will they push forth their own agendas before the needs of people and place? Presently, we’re seeing that corporations have the ability and the will to invest in urban solutions. Companies like Samsung, Facebook and Google are wielding a great deal of economic power and influence as we’ve seen online and in the real world.

Likewise, we’re seeing smart cities or technological advancement have great impacts on the urban landscape. There are cities that presently notify those looking for a park when a space becomes available. In Miami, they have streetlights that detect when a gun has been fired and notify local authorities. Recently, Google’s Sidewalk Labs recently was greenlighted to plan a stretch of ‘smart city’ on Toronto’s waterfront. While smart cities may appear valuable at a base level, they also pose the question of ‘at what cost’? At what point do we have to ‘pay’ to benefit from these future technologically enhanced cities?

words and imagery Rani Shanks




Do we create a cycle that relies on selling our own data in order to live?

We know what dystopias are like, we’ve seen Blade Runner, watched Black Mirror, but rather than focus on the negatives, we can use positive realities to If a company is providing an construct our futures. element of an urban experience, because the government is unable Below, I outline two very possible to, will companies prioritise their realities, one that’s entirely optimistic and one that is own economic growth rather than societal need? For example, more reasonable. implementing a tiered payment FUTURE 01: system for essential services, so Brands actively seek to transform that to fully reap the benefits of our experiences and relationships that experience suddenly people with people and place for the are paying more than what they would have through an annual tax better. By seeking to meld their own agendas with humanistic contribution. needs, brands will create experiences that exist as positive Alternatively, its beginning to be cemented as common knowledge extensions of themselves that nourish human existence. Rather that our own data is incredibly than collecting data that centres valuable to companies and itself on what content children corporations. In the future, is within certain schools are that what we trade to skip the advertisements of smart cities and consuming and targeting every home within the nearby radius go straight to premium member? with advertisements, maybe Do we create a cycle that relies sports brands gamify the walk on selling our own data in order to school to facilitate health and to live? wellbeing. To avoid the over commercialised, This is a future where technology and company contribution are dystopic cities of tomorrow it is used to enable communities, imperative that we lay down the rules for how we wish to interact where they decide what they give up and what they give and how with brands and corporations by they engage in questioning those relationships branded relationships. today.



FUTURE 02: We strike a precarious deal between corporations and human need. Our data is used as currency to be traded for better resources and way of life. In order to catch the express bus perhaps we have to view several advertisements or sell a portion of our own data to access a wellmaintained greenspace. In this future, we only get as much as we give and we have far less control over decisions that impact our lives. Those of affluent background have more say, but even then, corporations are king. With these futures in mind it’s pretty obvious what scenario is more ideal. While we’re starting to feel the impacts of brand influence and understand our ownership over our own data its incredibly important that we actively seek to control and direct how these relationships shape our future. Ultimately anything that resembles a utopia is going to require vigilance and determination from communities to ensure that data is being used to benefit themselves and society as a greater whole.



As we use technology to explore what life as a human with these new abilities will be like, one question remains:

As Arthur C. Clarke put it “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable to magic (Clarke, 1962).”

“how well does a species that evolved in a tangible, gritty and often dangerous world, adapt to and flourish in a limitless and intangible digital universe?”

Now, to be honest, a lot of the time, great technological achievements are used for the mundane such as asking Google “how long do I leave the cake in the oven?” and this is fundamental purpose of technology: to help people’s day-to-day survival.

If you told someone fifty years ago that one day a phone would be able to search through all recorded human knowledge and find an answer to almost any question you asked it, they would not believe you, such a thing would be like witchcraft. Things we take for granted today, would have blown minds only a few decades ago; watching an unborn baby’s first kicks, watching something on the other side of the world as it happens or being able to listen to a song without a musician, gramophone or anyone else in the room hearing it.


However, something that hasn’t seen as much attention is the rate of adoption with new technology: in only a few years disruptive, ‘magical’ technology only used by fringe groups becomes mainstream essentials of daily life. You could ask yourself “how long before putting on a set of glasses and seeing your friends from all over the world is an everyday activity?” but a question circling many designers and developers is what are the consequences of cutting down physical contact between people?

words Sean Wanna imagery Thien Pham


any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable to magic.


Now, virtual life sceptics may just be the new Luddites (workers who threw shoes into mechanised looms because they didn’t trust new technology), but as humans we live, grow and bond with the world around us, there are emotions and physical feelings that cannot be described, have immense impacts on us and our behaviour. Holding an excited puppy, nestling a sleeping baby, feeling burning muscles after lifting something heavy or feeling the world slip away lying on the grass watching the stars.

There’s something in the tangible, something intangible; you can’t put a name to it or a draw a picture of it, but humans engage another part of themselves when they interact in the real world. Now of course, we could create a digital world that can fake it, simulate a similar experience or even prime you and convince you to feel a particular way, but isn’t that a lot of resources and energy to replicate what we already have available? As I look to the future of Industrial Design and how both the physical and digital product industries are changing, our trajectory must either evolve past the tangible or come to a new understanding of how we best live out our days.




PHASE I: THE QUESTION Artificial intelligence is changing our reality, the technology is penetrating into our life with great velocity - the most obvious cases would be the kinds like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Xiaomi Xiao Ai - they are the face of AI technology, embodied and occupying our intimate habitat. But are they the optimal physicality for this, dare I say, a new kind of being? Surely not. There are many questions to ask. What is artificial intelligence to us, really? Are we creating a servant, or the master of our kind? What if artificial intelligence has advanced to a level where it has formed a emotional relationship with humankind? What is that relationship? Can AI be a friend that we can share our vulnerability with, or even become a part of family and nurture us? Or are they destined to be our foe? What does that AI look like? Can we actually see AI? Is it a necessity that AI is within a place where we can watch it? Given the opportunity to test a speculative conversational AI technology, AIWA was conceptualised during a series of open discussion about our life, future and technology, at Ars Electronica Futurelab @ QUT in early 2018. Our take on the vision of future AI was something intimate and tangible.


Each embodied AI entity shall have its own self-awareness and ability of critical-thinking, just like us - and they are here for conversations. We must communicate in order to understand each other and ourselves, mutually probing and shaping an attitude. Hence the name of this project, Artificial Intelligence With Attitude, abbreviated to AIWA. PHASE II: THE ESSENCE We are essentially brains with senses and motor skills. When we are immersed in a conversation in person, we are framed by each other’s eye and concentrated into the nuance of voice and gestures - everything else becomes peripheral, even how we look and feel becomes only a component of the intentions and the flow of the interaction. Given this acknowledgement, we envisioned one-on-one interaction as the form for beta-testing of AIWA. It is beta-testing of the technology and user experience, but more immensely it’s beta-testing of the perception and the attitude of participants that encounter AIWA.

words and imagery Tom He


we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. 28

To facilitate such scenario, AIWA was to be housed in a enclosure that resembles the current smart speaker products on the market, yet have a futuristic and timeless touch for people to subconsciously grasp AIWA’s speculative nature. To extract that impression, three keywords were selected, initially friendly, harmless, and innocent for the first iteration of AIWA. After technical development, testing and artistic curation of the branding, we resolved that to curious, intimate companion.

The second iteration was designed based on the components and cabling, also considering assembly and disassembling for troubleshoot. Reliability and flexibility was explicitly emphasised for the technical aspects in a festival / exhibition setting.

The form factor of the final version of AIWA was constructed with more complex curvature and some deliberate edging to balance the overly round design of the first iteration AIWA, yet still retaining the size and feel of its original. The face of AIWA took PHASE III: THE DESIGN The first prototype was created to a lot of time to be settled - the layout and details of cavities for present of concept to Futurelab the indication light, camera, and cohort, then to the board of Ars microphone took several iterations Electronica. Some ideas such as tangible interaction and projection and many hours of observation and feedback-gathering to be mapping were briefly tested, but dropped after receiving feedbacks settled. The result is a deep cavity that limits the angle of the vision which state they might be confusing and not necessary. The of AIWA, slightly tilted upwards for a natural viewing angle. The first iteration of AIWA received good impressions for its form and sense of deep gazing prompts the presence, yet it was apparent that participant to be sitting directly in front of AIWA, forming a it needed further refinement. spacial connection.


The LED ring of AIWA calmly breathes blue light, which was found to be soothing and retains visual attention from the participant. In summary, the design rationale of AIWA’s body was to set an appropriate expectation for the participant, passively emitting a calm presence to those who encounter and not to interrupt the conversation. One participant’s feedback can testify that the design served its purpose: “ I was talking with AIWA, the look and shape of it sort of faded away, I was really just talking with the personality of AIWA”. PHASE IV: THE TRAJECTORY AIWA received many acclaim from the participants - the responsiveness and the ability of critical thinking shocked the participants. Having experienced it first hand, participants were deeply inspired to think about the future where we are heading towards together with AI technology. Many of those who experienced AIWA was positive that a highly advanced AI will be a part of our life and society, diversifying relationships in human culture even further. AIWA revealed a pattern of perception from real life - a pattern resides somewhere in between the spectrum of imaginative future presented in films such as Ghost in Shell, Her, or Terminator.


Roy Amara once said: “we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” Beta-testing of AIWA is an interactive experience between people and the future technology itself; the responses and the discussion AIWA provoked is a trajectory of our future, devoid of commercial interference and marketing of beliefs. It was all about connecting with people in the immediate surroundings and discussing our thoughts and feelings as individuals. Further down the trajectory, there might be a design community thriving to shape our reality and future based on our own beliefs and individuality, daring to be an alternative to the dominance of large corporation and calculated feed of information by those who profit from such. What AIWA showed is not only a vision of future - more importantly, it is what we can achieve as of now, and the trajectory to the alternate reality we choose to create over our lifetime.

the AIWA team.



Here is a small window into what third year biomedical science students are observing. Accompanying the images from the lab are some hand drawn interpretations of the cells, showing what aspects catch the eye of a scientific observer. These images are of two types of tests undertaken to observe first the morphology of the cells, and secondly the migration of cells. By understanding structure of the cells, and then how they use it to push and pull themselves around on the plate, we can gain insight into what the cells in our body are doing – how they move and follow their trajectory, how they divide, and how they survive. Looking after cells: Twice a week we change the nutrient rich media that the cells are sitting in and check them under the microscope for contamination, confluency, how happy they look and if any have died.


words and imagery Alexandra Cooke



MY CELLS: HaCat – epithelial cells derived from human skin. NIH3T3 – (Developed in the 60’s) fibroblast cells derived from mouse embryo. The green and blue images are of what’s called a morphology assay. It’s a standard test which takes about a week - to grow cells on a microscope slide, then to stain and image them for the purpose of determining their shape and structure. These images always remind me of little rogue fleets floating through space and docking onto their mothership. This test is done by using an actin-green stain to make visible the actin cytoskeleton of the cells – the filaments which give cells their shape and structure, as well as playing very important roles in cell movement and division. Just as we use our muscles to move our bones in the direction we want, so too does a cell push it’s skeleton outward to slink ever forward. The blue circles you see in the middle of the green masses are the nucleus of the cell. These photographic windows into a cell’s word show us how they use their skeleton to push their bodies forward, willing their globular mass on an instinctual trajectory to those of their own kind – seeking community, safety and belonging.



unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.


we move not as one, but as many. 38



Crystal violet stains are used as part of what’s called a scratch assay (determining how and how fast cells bridge the gap of a scratch created through the centre of their monolayer). This is what you can see in the purple images. The cells are stretching and trying to connect back with the other side and grow over that empty space. This is where you see cell movement in action: the bridges they build using their own bodies across the gaping expanse between them; the thin layer of cells slinking forward and conjoining with steady ease. It’s hard not to see them as sticky pools of water, following a subtle gravitational gradient leading to each other, and then as proximity increases, they fling and stretch themselves forward with desperate excitement.

Although woe is we, there is consolation still as our months of experimenting yielded many things. In our world there are successes, there are failures, there are never ending hours of simply pipetting and mixing, there is useful data, there are major and minor mistakes that are only realised at the end of a project which make the entire venture scientifically worthless. But we learn, we improve, we gain insight, we stare and wonder at the beautiful, knowledgeful, living things in our hands which go unnoticed by most others. These tiny things. These infinitesimal beings that are us and we are them. They influence us as much as our conscience thought thinks otherwise.

After all of this marvelling, the end of each semester dawns and we are forced to say goodbye to our cell lines – which after months of pouring our love, dedication, sometimes hate and frustration into them, can be a sad day.



I was born left handed. This meant it was difficult for my grandma to teach me to knit as a child, because she’d never been shown how to knit left handed. So, I didn’t learn. Both my grandmothers grew up in Macedonia making textiles; including clothing, blankets, rugs, wall hangings and other culturally significant items. These skills were taught either at home from older relatives, or through textile schools to learn manufacturing techniques that many attended. I have memories of them picking up a blanket, quickly studying the pattern and instantly knowing how to reproduce it. And this was the sharing of knowledge.

I prefer to use these pieces as inspiration to create my own work, as I have done in this series. I was particularly inspired by the traditional textiles of my family’s homeland, from kilim rugs to traditional dress, typically produced using methods such as the loom. I have interpreted their patterns and colours and using my own embroidery skills and modern techniques, I have created my own style.

One grandmother has begun to embrace the Instagram life; whenever I visit her she is happy to watch me trawl through images of crocheted wares, asking if I can print a few for her to try make. Social media platforms have As a creative, I was interested to allowed people like my grandma learn some tactile skills just as my to see new designs and patterns grandmothers did. I began to pick that she would never have come up freehand embroidery. But who across in her daily life, as well as were my teachers? The thousands providing accessibility for me to of people who upload images and see old traditional patterns that videos of their craft online, ready may have not been passed down for me to learn from. Instagram my family line. and Pinterest are now my grandmas. I have taught myself different techniques, in order for me to form a base knowledge just as my ancestors have. When I see a new design on Instagram, I can quickly study the pattern and instantly know how it was made.


words and imagery Kristen Kocev


Satin Stitch and Tassels inspired by a Kilim Rug


Bullion Stitch and Chain Stitch inspired by Traditional Dress


Satin Stich and Tassels inspired by Kilim Rugs Hanging for Sale


French Knot Stitch and Satin Stitch using Tapestry Wool inspired by Traditional Tapestries



The modern day is an ever changing conglomeration of fast news, quick fixes and poor decision making. Humans make mistakes, it’s what makes us Human - we all know that (politicians seem to make a few more strange ones that can affect a whole community). We all know what we want in our country, cities’ and local community. Currently, in order to make any significant impact or change to an issue in your community, you need to consult your local member of parliament (that bloke you randomly selected when you had to vote back in February) how fun, I know. The issue at hand then enters this mystical system (top down current democratic system) that requires great amounts of energy, time, money and “higher order” thinking to end up going... nowhere. Essentially, the current democratic system in Australia is outdated, slow and is trajecting itself further away from the trust of the people.


It is a strict, regimented process, run by strict regimented people, housed in a strict, solidifying political building built at the turn of the century (or seems that old). So is the problem therefore; the system, the people or the building?

The people: well we already know they have great concerns for the future of the country (while they spend taxpayers money on expensive helicopter rides). The system: makes life incredibly difficult to achieve any significant change The building: try changing either of the above without changing the functionality of the building they are housed in. Currently it is a strict rigid democratic system housed in a strict/rigid political building...any change needing to happen would need serious demolition work for both the building and metaphorically the system.

words and imagery Hunter Eccelston retouching Brayden Hisccock


PROPOSAL: What if we removed the politicians? What if the only representative was yourself? What if you could vote on issues directly associated to what you care about?




ARCHITECTURE. A reinvented democracy for the 21st Century - and beyond - should therefore look like a non-representative, issue based direct democracy. A free-flowing conglomeration of great ideas and public discussions to get our brains working. Professionals from their chosen fields being able to make a difference - an environment minister who actually cares about the environment.

A modular system within/on top/ around a modular building. The architecture of the democratic ecosystem is one that is ever changing and adaptable to evolve with the societal ecosystem. Engrained deep within it’s values is the fact that issues we face today will be completely different in the future. No politicians were harmed in the writing of this article.



If you had to imagine what a smart home might look like, you might think of turning lights on or off via your phone, or controlling the home thermostat from work. But what could be made smart in a garden, and why would people want to embed technology into a place that holds the emotional key to connecting with nature and otherwise escaping technology. These questions formed the larger part of my investigative research and thesis article titled “Garden Functionality in the Smart Home Environment�. As far as a definition, smart home technologies can be considered as technologies capable of integrating sensors, monitors, interfaces and devices into a central network to enable automation as well as localised and remote control of the domestic environment. The purpose? To offer consumers with futuristic qualities such as cost savings, convenience and control. However, the question remained, how could smart home technologies be applied to the context of the garden environment and how would they be most useful?


words Akira Yamada imagery Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera


gardening’s not just for grannies!


Through research, it was found that more than four out of five homes in Australia have some form of garden, yet, the same figure could not be correlated to the number of gardening enthusiasts in Australia. Therefore, it was suggested that having a garden and engaging in gardening activities offered the everyday gardener some form of emotional quality that justified the time and effort to garden despite not particularly enjoying the activity. Findings from the research revealed that having a garden and engaging in gardening activities offered the everyday gardener two qualities:

These qualities were found to form the fundamental need for having a garden and engaging in gardening activities. The problem, however, was that without the knowledge or time to garden correctly, most gardeners felt uncomfortable approaching the garden and those who did were often left frustrated with their failed results.

1. A connection to nature and, 2. A control of their environment



Therefore, based on the findings from the research it was proposed that smart home technologies be applied in the garden context to create a micro-management system capable of educating and assisting users through the gardening process. In doing so, it is aimed to increase the transparency of information about the health of a garden and the steps required to maintain a garden to reduce speculation and ultimately create a positive gardening experience. By integrating smart home technologies as proposed, it is aimed to encourage more homeowners to engage with gardening activities more frequently; allowing homeowners to become more connected with nature and understand how their actions impact upon their environment.

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Dzine. Issue 12  

trajectory This issue addresses our responsibility to the bright future, but also acknowledges that this world needs to change. With the lo...

Dzine. Issue 12  

trajectory This issue addresses our responsibility to the bright future, but also acknowledges that this world needs to change. With the lo...


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