How to become a sustainable designer

After watching endless big data and human technology relation projects I noticed a strong trend in the acceptance of the fact that futures would entail the dominance of technology in everyday lifestyles. Although I was proud to be apart of a group aspiring to see environmental change and a sustainable futuring scenario, I found myself saddened that my peers were not as hopeful as ourselves. But what if we saw classroom of students hopeful for a world that wasn’t killing itself with pollution, global warming and technological dominance. After all, technology is designed right? Nothing unsustainable appears out of nowhere, it is first designed. But what if we saw a new generation of designers with sustainable thinking, practices and outcomes. What would that mean for our future as we know it?

Take Yves Behar for example, he has completely reinvented a shoebox buy decreasing the packaging material volume and using a cheap environmentally friendly soft case “shoe bag”. This in turn reduces waste and CO2 admissions contributed by shoe packaging (Mitchell, R. 2014). Now I might be a little bias because I work at a sneaker store and have the pleasure of encountering such a simple yet innovative and sustainable piece of design on the regular. But this is exactly the type of thinking our design faculties need to start embedding into education and the design process. Designing should be much more than meeting a need in an aesthetically pleasing way. Design is about creating solutions for global issues that can potentially save the population, not merely for the pleasure of status and career benefits (Broschke, M. 2014).

“Clever Little Bag” shoe package by Yves Behar

“Clever Little Bag” shoe package by Yves Behar

Innovative Sustainable Design

In my ideal reality of the design world, we will all be creating sustainable design that addresses the economical and interpersonal needs of present consumers without compromising resources and lifestyle standards of future generations (Mitchell, R. 2014). The key of achieving this is reaching into the root of our conceptual thinking. We need to apply Yves Behar’s way of thinking by reinventing the familiar by looking at it in an alternate light and detailing these ideas with the practice of sustainability.

We designers all know by now that the conceptual stage of the design process is imperative, and must be strong in order to produce successful functioning design. But I challenge you now to take this one step further by considering this:

  1. Can it be smaller?
  2. Can it be lighter?
  3. Can it be recycled?
  4. Can you reproduce it with less materials?

Your new motto: “Waste is a design flaw” (Matthews, T. 2013)

If we change our thinking by embedding sustainable, future considerate and innovative ideas in our design process, we may even go as far as reversing our damage and saving the world

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Futuring Workshop: Need a Job? Invent it.

Recently I have learnt a new way of thinking; Futuring. This is a way of thinking about the future based on possible scenarios that our current contextual setting may be deprived of or heading towards. Alexander Crosby of UTS held a brief and mind-opening workshop ‘Valuing Student Voices When Exploring, Creating and Planning for the future of Australian Higher Education’ which was lead through group work where we had to analysis technologies within our past and present education and think about how these technologies may change in a future scenario with an educational context.

What struck me the most with the solutions my group came up with is this idea of a “Customisable degree” where by one can combine different course content over various degrees i.e. Commerce, Design and Engineering to create a customised skill set according to the students interests and aspirations. This made me think back to something Gerhard (A Visual Communicator and Lecturer) said at a lecture in my first year of university “By the time you finish your degree, there will be thousands of newly invented jobs that did not exist when you started your degree.” So essentially, we all could be potentially studying for a job that doesn’t even exist yet. Is that not crazy to you? Our world is so diverse and ever- changing that we can’t even consume knowledge and education at the same rate that the economy needs us to fulfil certain roles.

This is the time where high income jobs require an average skill set, we are all expected to have high-skill sets at pretty much all comfortable job positions (Friedman, T. 2013). So this is where I started looking into the new jobs that are out there and the way in which we can create an adaptable career and future for ourselves in such a rapidly changing world. While many jobs will remain the same, the acceleration of technology and data systems will change the nature of their work (Frey, T. 2011).

“The Classroom of the Future” Viewed 22nd Oct 2014

“The Classroom of the Future” Viewed 22nd Oct 2014 <http://take-a-breath.org/tag/impact/&gt;

So what does this mean for us designers specifically? Will we require IT and Computer based skills? Should these skill sets be a choice via an elective subject or integrated within our mandatory studies? We’re seeing a future of an amalgamated force of employees. Here are a few futuristic jobs I bet you never knew existed:

  • 3D-Printing Engineers
  • Social Education Specialists
  • Organ Agents
  • Urban Agriculturalists

They all sound like a Hybrid of two fields right? So lets get rid of the one path, on job, one solution mindset and start thinking about how we can educate ourselves in the way we want. Stop thinking about the “status-quo” of a steady 9-5 job and start thinking about how you create an untouched field that caters to every social, emotional, intellectual and creative outlet your heart desires. Skills like problem solving, collaborative thinking, communication, creativity and critical thinking are far more valuable to a student than purely academic knowledge (Frey, T. 2011).

Bromstein, E. 2014. 30 Jobs with weird, futuristic sounding titles. Viewed 22nd October 2014

Bromstein, E. 2014. 30 Jobs with weird, futuristic sounding titles. Viewed 22nd October 2014 <http://www.workopolis.com/content/advice/article/30-futuristic-sounding-job-titles/ >

Perhaps it’s experience based electives we should be looking at. How can we develop our interpersonal skills and practical thinking skills in order to adapt to our ever-changing careers? The main idea is to be more “life smart”. Look at Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs – Multi Billionaires with low academic records to their name. Before you invest emotional stress into the idea of the future, invest you time into what you love and be the best. Do what you do differently, and better that everyone else.

Our Safety on the Road

Through the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Developments’ database, Australia alone have over 750 FATAL crashes and over 800 FATALITIES due to car accidents from the 1st of January to 30th of September 2014, which is an average of approximately 2.96 fatalities and 2.88 fatal crashes per day. With such terrifying statistics we can assume that for the October data update, roughly 180 more incidents will be recorded. These incidents are mainly due to miscalculations, speeding, fatigue, recklessness and etc.

How do we avoid these tragedies?

How do we stop bad driving?

How do we minimise damage?

How do we increase safety?

Well, the answers are all with UmK (United Micro Kingdom) and their idea of Robocars/Digicars.

Post 2- Our Safety on the Road

(Dunne & Raby, 2012)

Before we delve into the concept, lets get a good idea of what exactly is UmK. ‘The UmK is a deregulated laboratory for competing social, ideological, technological and economic models.’ (Dunne & Raby, 2012) What we are focusing on in this ‘four super-shires’ (Dunne & Raby, 2012) are the Digitarians who ‘depend on digital technology and all its implicit totalitarianism — tagging, metrics, total surveillance, tracking, data logging and 100% transparency.’ (Dunne & Raby, 2012)

What is a Robocar/Digicar?

Post 2- Our Safety on the Road (2)Post 2- Our Safety on the Road (3)

(Dunne & Raby, 2012)

It is ‘a development of electric self-drive cars being pioneered today’. (Dunne & Raby, 2012) ‘Robocars will be highly unlikely to get in accidents and will park themselves after dropping off their passenger’ (Templeton, 2008)

Basically, you’ll be safer on road. No need to worry about bad driving skills, slow reactions and unforeseen happenings that seem to always be the blame for things. Truthfully I’ve heard too many of those stories where outrageous excuses are being told just to avoid blame, “the kerb moved closer to my car and hit it!”, sometimes I don’t know whether to cry or laugh because I’m in their car…

There have already been prototypes and test cars out there that have succeeded one way or the other. The first step would be the new ‘Auto-Park’ feature for parallel parking in some current cars and although some have complained about it’s failure to park if there is no car in the front/back, it’s the little steps we take that count. While you dwell on the idea of Robocars/Digicars, have a look at the video below which shows us what our roads can potentially look like in the future with the existence of Robocars.

(Dunne & Raby, 2012)

It’s something we definitely can look forward to in the future!!!

Bibliography

Australian Government 2014, Australian Road Deaths Database, viewed 20 October 2014,
<http://www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/fatal_road_crash_database.aspx>

Dunne, A. & Raby, F. 2012, United Micro Kingdoms, Accessed 20 October 2014,
<http://www.unitedmicrokingdoms.org/introduction/>

Dunne, A. & Raby, F. 2013, Digicars-anim-vimeo, Accessed 20 October 2014,
<http://vimeo.com/64919150>

Templeton, B. 2008, Templetons, Accessed 20 October 2014,
<http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/design-change.html>

Cheap Food Is Making Us Hungry.

Food Security   //     when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life

– definition agreed to at the 1996 World Food Summit

Relating ‘Alice’,a fictional, Australian, middle-class wife and mother of two, to our speculative object exposed significant concerns regarding todays food supply. Forming our scenario on the basis that in 2050 the S.H.I.F.T (Self-sustaining Hydroponic Individual Food Tray) would alleviate world hunger, we envisioned a healthier, more equal, and more plentiful food system.

But how do we reach that goal for the poor?

‘an estimated 70% of the World’s poor live in Rural areas and depend either directly or indirectly on agriculture. Cheap food has made them hungry and kept them in poverty’ 

(Wise 2010)

It is popular belief that if crops yield more produce, food becomes cheaper and world hunger dissolves. But this is incorrect. By making food cheaper, farmers lose income, reducing the number of farmers and the money invested into producing more food in the long run. Globalisation is currently devaluing food. And with the ‘current and unabated trend of diminishing food supply, rising food prices and falling food production’ (Abbassian 2011), poor countries and those in lower socio-economic classes are being significantly hit.

This is unacceptable.

Today’s Situation.

  1. The poor are moving to the city at a faster rate than the population as a whole. (Chen & Ravallion 2007)
  2. If current trends continue, the world’s slum population will increase 50% between now and 2020. (Carolan 2011)

It is a recognised fact that low-income urban neighbourhoods tend to have ‘fewer grocery stores and more quick-stop type convenience stores’. (Lane et all 2008) In other words, the only food the poor can afford in significant quantities are ‘energy-dense (nutrient shallow) foods’. (Carolan 2011) And just think of the health consequences.

Food security must be reclaimed. 

Solutions. 

Carolan is emphatic – ‘we will not feed the world any time soon with vertical farming. (But) that is why it deserves a closer look, because without serious study vertical agriculture will remain a future possibility rather than a practical option’ (Carolan 2011). Food levels are decreasing, population is rising and there needs to be new and innovative thinking to ensure food security.

Cue Augustin Rosenstiehl, a French, principal architect at Atlier SOA and director of the Agricultural Urbanism Lab (LUA); a multi-disciplinary project that focuses on the complementarity between environmental and social diversity within the problems of urban agriculture. (Agricultural Urbanism Lab 2012) Focusing on just how to integrate the farm into the city, Rosenstiehl has been in discussion with farmers, philosophers, sociologists, and agronomists since 2010, developing a small network of ‘case studies’ over Paris. Working with anything from sociology and economics in the rural world to agriculture and agronomy, Rosenstiehl has delivered amazing, and very impressive projects.

It is well worth your time to check them out here.

—> http://www.lua-paris.com/en/projects/urban-agriculture

Make sure you discover Urbanana 2011, isn’t the name perfect? Visually Urbanana is beautiful. Located on the Champs-Elysées it provides ‘an attractive landscape of fruit trees growing in a brightly lit space on the street’ (Agricultural Urbanism Lab 2011) – the lighting, vital for the banana’s growth, provides a substitute for street lighting at night. Clever.

And even better – The Urbanana questions the impact on the economy of banana-producing countries. Because whilst the banana is a key source of income for Caribbean economies, its intensive production has caused considerable environmental damage. ‘The drive for productivity at any price, inadequate waste management, soil depletion and packing methods are now threatening these countries with bankruptcy.’ (Agricultural Urbanism Lab 2011)

SOA_URBANANA_ exterieur nuit 2

SOA_URBANANA_ interieur haut

SOA_URBANANA_ zoom

SOA_URBANANA_ 1

All images – (Agricultural Urbanism Lab 2011)

B I B L I O G R A P H Y

Abbassian A 2011, World Food Prices Reach New Historic Peak, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Accessed 21 October 2014, <http://fao.org/news/story/en/item/50519/icode/&gt;

Agricultural Urbanism Lab 2011, Urbanana / SOA, Accessed 21 October 2014, <http://www.lua-paris.com/en/projects/urban-agriculture/item/320-urbanana-299-&gt;

Agricultural Urbanism Lab 2012, Ideas, Accessed 21 October 2014, <http://www.lua-paris.com/en/ideas/introduction&gt;

Carolan M 2011, The Real Cost of Cheap Food, 1st ed., Routledge, New York

Chen S & Ravallion M 2007, The Changing Profile of Poverty in the World – October 2007, 2020 Focus Brief on the World’s Poor and Hungry People, Washington, DC, Accessed 20 October 2014, <http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/beijingbrief_ravallion2.pdf&gt;

WARNING: ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

In a post apocalyptic world how would humanity survive? Zombie powered vertical farms of course…

Zombie-Ranch1-537x283

This was one entry into the Southwest Architectures competition to create a zombie safe house. This Zombie safe house is powered by Zombies to create sustainable crops all year round…. so if you want to survive the Zombie apocalypse support vertical farming now!!

Zombie-Ranch2-537x230Zimmer, L, 2014. Zombie-Powered Vertical Farm keep Inhabitants Safe from Living Dead, Viewed 21st Oct 2014, <http://inhabitat.com/zombie-powered-vertical-farm-leaves-inhabitants-safe-and-well-fed-during-a-zombie-apocalypse/&gt;

The Future. And its Technology.

Design as a discipline is strongly infused by technology; interacting, challenging and coexisting alongside one another. And as history has shown, this bond only increases over time. Perhaps this is the cause of significant anxiety and questioning over the future and technology’s role. Will robots take over the world? Will we live on Mars? Travel on hover-boards?  (unfortunately, still unlikely)

L1004266-01

(Dunne & Raby 2012)

Design duo Dunne & Raby have presented far more compelling speculative futures through United Micro Kingdoms – particularly the kingdom of the Anarcho-Evolutionists. Abandoning most technologies, or at stopping development of them, Anarcho-Evolutionists concentrate of ‘science to maximise their own physical capabilities through training, DIY biohacking and self-experimentation’. (Dunne & Raby 2012) Humans modify themselves ‘to exist within the limits of the planet rather than modifying the planet to meet ever growing needs’ (Dunne & Raby 2012). Families undergo metamorphosis over generations, distinct physical make-up is associated with each clan and becomes a matter of pride.

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”

—Marshall McLuhan

(Culkin 1967)

When asked to envision future universities by Ali, my group collectively acknowledged the tools we utilise shape us and our design practice. Realising that our current use of technology is moulded by our fields of study – ie. fashion: sewing machine, tenaka, digital printing, etc – it unwittingly highlighted technologies determination of our behaviour, lifestyle and personality. Thus, we wanted future technologies to mould behaviours that were profitable, desiring more exposure to industry technologies and networks that university did not currently provide. We were passionate that technology did not replace face-to-face social interaction as we found networking to be a fundamental skill.

By resolving key values in regards to technology, we developed a futuring scenario based upon an economic/industry skills axis. In our Utopian quadrant – UTS developed a department store that gave students the opportunity to work in commercial industry; involvement would not be compulsory as students apply for positions. Full-time employees run the department store whilst communication students prototype marketing, design students propose products to buyers and business students worked alongside the finance team etc. Realistically, there substantial flaws that we left unresolved –  the increase of university fees, the loss of international students, the replacement of competition in friendly environments and even if this scheme produced a different, more successful kind of graduate. And yet, perhaps to my shame, we were all so captivated by the chance to integrate more technology into our degree that these flaws were seen of little consequence. Revealing the extent of which we value technological futures.

Perhaps this is why I felt so enthused when discovering Dunne & Raby’s collaboration with designer Michael Anastassiades – Do You Want to Replace the Existing Normal? (07/08). Their exploration of future technology appears frivolous but aims to address a, perhaps utopian, future where everyday needs become more complex, addressing imaginative and impractical needs and desires. (Dunne & Raby 2013) My personal favourite work Alignment, is programmed with the owners horoscope and on key astrological dates an ‘airbag is filled. An explosion of pinkness. It takes seconds, like an airbag in a car crash. Voluminous. Fantastic. A triclinic crystal: a form without 90 degree angles. Perhaps no one sees it, only the aftermath.’ (Anastassiades, Dunne & Raby 2007) It then deflates and the owner must decide what it means.

pink1

(Anastassiades 2007)

This is the kind of technology in the future that is exciting; the variety that questions design.

B I B L I O G RA P H Y

Anastassiades M 2007, Do You Want to Replace the Existing Normal, photographed by F.Ware, viewed 17 October 2014, <http://oldsite.michaelanastassiades.com/collaboration/Do+you+want+to+replace+the+existing+normal%3F/Do+you+want+to+replace+the+existing+normal%3F/83&gt;

Anastassiades M, Dunne A & Raby F 2007, Dunne & Raby: Do You Want to Replace the Existing Normal? 2007/08, Accessed 17 October 2014, <http://www.dunneandraby.co.uk/content/projects/75/0&gt;

Culkin J, S 1967, ‘A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan’, Saturday Review, March 18, pp. 51-53

Dunne A & Raby F 2012, Anarcho-Evolutionists, photographed by J.Evans, viewed 17 October 2014, <http://www.unitedmicrokingdoms.org/anarcho-evolutionists/&gt;

Dunne A & Raby F 2012, United Micro Kingdoms, Accessed 17 October 2014, <http://www.unitedmicrokingdoms.org/anarcho-evolutionists/&gt;

Dunne A & Raby F 2013, ‘Design as Critique’, in Speculate Everything, Cambridge Press, pp. 33-46

How Far Would YOU Go?

Is this what people call ‘love gone too far’?

  

Post 3- How Far Would YOU Go? (3)

(Boboltz, 2014)

Some of these just seem way too much, love can only go so far before it becomes a dangerous obsession and that’s what the ever-advancing technological world has done to our generation. Losing our awareness of responsibility, rationality and sensibility just for a device may have been seen as outrageous in the past but nowadays we hear too many of these stories to even be surprised anymore

We see it all over news every single time, especially when Apple brings out a new product and it just seems to get crazier. As the date of release for the iPhone 6 in China is still unknown, they have gone extremely frustrated and taken extreme lengths to get their hands on one. Reaching out to oversea relatives, going overseas directly and paying extreme amounts that are way overpriced.

Post 3- How Far Would YOU Go?

(Apple, 2014)

Is it really worth it?

Having started working at a phone store recently, observations have been made on customers who walk into the store. The iPhone 6+ that is on high demand has been out of stock for our company for a few weeks yet we continuously obtain new contract and pre-orders, even unofficial waiting lists with over 30 forms and they probably won’t see their iPhones until 3-4 months time. Some people who pre-ordered early have waited over 3-4 weeks for their phones and if they haven’t received it on time, they usually come to the store 3-4 times within a week. The amount of money some customers or more specifically families spend is quite astonishing, whilst organizing contracts, we see multiple orders under one customer and most of the time they have other family members that have signed multiple under them too.

Post 3- How Far Would YOU Go? (2)

New York Apple Inc. Store Photographed by Victor, J. Blue

(Higgins, 2014)

Your life is at risk.

Technology has been so integrated into our lives that it has become quite a serious problem, we can barely survive without looking at our phones as ‘people check their phones up to 150 times a day’ (Koelma, 2014) and our social skills have significantly decreased. We know it’s a distraction yet we can’t seem to take our eyes off it whether if we are driving, walking or sitting because we get this ‘lost feeling’ (Gibson, 2011) when it is out of sight and this has cause serious injuries as it has been observed that in Sydney approximately ‘1 in 10 pedestrians were using a mobile device while crossing the road’. (Koelma, 2014) If you aren’t convinced about this obsession or the harm it might do to your life, have a read of this article and tell me you aren’t scared:
http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/15-scary-facts-phone-obsession/666390/

So what do you think of your smartphone now?

You are probably not thinking much different to what you did before you read this post and possibly even surfing the Samsung website looking at the new Samsung Note 4 and Samsung Note Edge, ready to order it and become super obsessed with it for days. While you are at it, why don’t you check out the Samsung Gear which seems extremely evolutional yet completely insane (sorry, just can’t seem to stop talking about it’s design and features. Dream come true!)

Post 3- How Far Would YOU Go? (3) Post 3- How Far Would YOU Go? (4)

(Samsung, 2014)

Bibliography

Apple 2014, Apple, viewed 18 October 2014,
<http://www.apple.com/au/iphone-6/>

Boboltz, S. 2014, 15 Times The World’s iPhone Obsession Went Entirely Too Far, viewed 18 October 2014, <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/30/iphone-obsession-stories_n_5876458.html>

 Gibson, E. 2011, Psychologists Concerned About Smartphone ‘Obsession’, viewed 18 October 2014,<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/smarpthone-obsession_n_909462.html>

Higgins, T. 2014, Big-Screen IPhones Draw Long Lines in Stores Worldwide, viewed 18 October 2014,<http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-18/apple-s-new-big-screen-iphones-draw-long-lines-at-stores.html>

Koelma, G. 2013, Australia’s obsession with smartphones and tablets could be killing us, viewed 18 October 2014, <http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/australia8217s-obsession-with-smartphones-and-tablets-could-be-killing-us/story-fneszs56-1226738725017>

Phillips, C. 2014, 15 Scary Facts About Your Obsession With Your Phone That Should Worry You For The Future, viewed 18 October 2014,
<http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/15-scary-facts-phone-obsession/666390/>

Samsung, 2014, Samsung, viewed 18 October 2014,
<http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/gearvr/gearvr_design.html>

How will I Ever Repay You!!! : Student Fees , Government and Future Scenarios

Futuring can be done in many ways, many people do it every day, ” When I finish my degree I will be in this type job, and married by the time im 30″  is an example of an individual futuring there life based of there experience, whether they realize it or not. In my short experience at developing future scenarios ive come to realise that almost everyone you meet will have a different opinion, for example I had recently undertaken a futuring workshop ‘ ‘Valuing Student Voices When Exploring, Creating and Planning for the future of Australian Higher Education’ run by Alexander Crosby. In this workshop we looked at possible scenarios in groups of how the Uni of the future would be, and what i noticed from all the different groups proposed scenarios highly differing views of what the future of education may look like.

From this workshop I found myself looking more closely at the protests and events that have taken form around the Federal Governments proposed reforms to Higher education, particularly the issues that affect me the most:

  • a full deregulation of fees ( Knott, M & Kenny M. 2014)
  •  an average funding cut of 20 per cent for university courses (Knott, M & Kenny M. 2014)

These changes seem to be making it further and further out of reach to get an higher education. As a society in 2014 the HELP Debt has risen to a collective of $30 billion , But even more close to home is that design and art students generaly get paid the lowest rate on graduating at approximately $40,000 PA….(Mcdougall, B & Bodkin, P, 2014) (do you feel like you have chosen the wrong degree yet? then maybe you should keep reading). Personally I have had to rack up so far over $30,000 in debt, which is still rising everyday I try to be a productive and educated member of society. Every Day I feel like my future is becoming more dismal in this economic climate not even to mention future generations.

Design has such power to change the world, but how can we use this to full potential if we are trapped by all this debt? If your trapped by debt all that you are worried about is getting a job to pay the bills rather than changing the world.

From this dilema and the skills I obtained from the futuring workshop I created a set of axis that I believed were going to be the biggest dilema to the future of higher education.

kmdkmdkmdkmdkmdkmdkmd

In the future University fees are inevitably going to increase, while I believe that happens I believe the amount of people  who choose to get a higher education will drop because face it who will want to enter a life time of debt. This result has been proven in the UK where a similar scheme that the Australian Government propose lead to a sharp decrease in enrollments. (Laurence, J, 2013.)

The reason I looked into this is I fear for the future of Australian Universities not only for my near future but for my children as well, they deserve to have an quality education the same as me and equal to the time when most of the politics in power such as Joe Hockey education and sincerely hope my prediction is wrong.

To conclude here is a representation of a student trying to pay back there loan.

(Izquierdo, P, 2014)

Bibliography

Plant in your Home.

Post 4- Plant in your Home.

(Sarrodie, 2012)

Vertical farming?

‘Farming indoors is not a new concept, per se, as greenhouse-based agriculture has been in existence for some time. Numerous commercially viable crops (e.g., strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, herbs, and spices) have seen their way to the world’s supermarkets in ever increasing amounts over the last 15 years. Most of these operations are small when compared to factory farms, but unlike their outdoor counterparts, these facilities can produce crops year-round.’ (Despommier, 2011)

Post 4- Plant in your Home. (2)

(Sarrodie, 2012)

How do we make this happen?

No one likes to jump from one lifestyle to another and vertical farming is a huge régime change to many. What we must do is integrate small-scaled projects that enhance our knowledge and experiences with such a lifestyle and to do this we recruit designers like Clement Sarrodie and his ‘Botanic Hydroponic Furniture’ project. Sarrodie’s designs combine aesthetics, style and agricultural features into one subject which produces multiple clean-cut furniture that use the hydroponics system. The Hydroponic system is the ‘cultivation of plants in nutrient-enriched water, with or without the mechanical support of an inert medium such as sand or gravel. Fertilizer solution is pumped through the system periodically.’(Merriam-Webster, 2014)

 Post 4- Plant in your Home. (3)

(Sarrodie, 2012)

‘Teburu’, the coffee table design by Sarrodie would be the most favored design out of the three due to its practicality. The design saves space and has actual functionalities of a coffee table which is in contrast with the other two seem more like decorations or just like any other normal gardening plants being displayed. The fresh design of the product allows the user to be more acceptable and adaptable with the system as the use of white, wood and greens all give off a unsoiled, peaceful and natural impression. Sarrodie successfully integrated a small-scaled vertical farm into a normal everyday lifestyle, which causes no disturbances and/or excess space.

Post 4- Plant in your Home. (4)

(Sarrodie, 2012)

Why Vertical Farming?

This is because vertical farming uses minimal land but at the same time maximizes production. This ultimately leads to less farmland use which can ultimately be recovered back to it’s natural state. Although this recovery stage may take a long period of time, we can always find other alternative ways to overcome this crisis. In the TEDTalk below, Shubhendu Sharma talks about how we can build a tiny forest in a short amount of time. We can use this idea and put it into a larger scale to help speed up the process, of course with guarantees that it won’t further damage the unoccupied farmlands.

(Sharma, 2014)

At the end, it’s all about sustainability.

Bibliography

Despommier, D. 2011, The Vertical Farm, viewed 14 October 2014,
<http://www.verticalfarm.com>

Merriam-Webster. 2014, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, viewed 14 October 2014,
<http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydroponics>

Sarrodie, C. 2012, Botanic Hydroponic Furniture, viewed 14 October 2014,
<https://www.behance.net/gallery/Botanic-Hydroponic-Furniture/2980611>

Sharma, S. 2014, How to grow a tiny forest anywhere, viewed 14 October 2014,
<http://www.ted.com/talks/shubhendu_sharma_how_to_grow_a_tiny_forest_anywhere>

Interesting Documentary Showing a Different Perspective on Urban Agriculture

Hey everyone, were mainly focusing on Sydney and vertical gardens but its a great little documentary showing how Agriculture is being incorporated into Casablanca,Morocco which is a culture so different than ours. This Documentary also shows how far the mind set of the general population has come in regards to the perception of urban agriculture

Also check out there Vimeo page which has many other great documentaries and interesting videos to view!

http://vimeo.com/crossdocs