Thesis Research and Development
Mcfadden and Thorpe
Mission Statement: Designing permaculture systems that foster the best possible connection between people and the environment.
Summary of current work:
Starting with most recent work:
4. Aereoponic Prototype: Continued with the implementation of extraordinary materials and currently searching for the incorporation of a water turbine that will generate energy for another process such as lighting or motion.
4. Aereoponic Prototype: Constituted the cutting and fitting of different containers that represent a fair size for the construction of an aereoponic environment. Motor and pump included (functional prototype). Integrated growth medium baskets and detachable top surface.
4. Integrated Planter Prototype: This piece demonstrates a possible design direction and brings together basic components: Both planters are fitted and drilled for irrigation. The planters sit on a slanted base to promote the outflow of water after feeding.
4. Miniature aereoponic environment: made from cardboard and Nashua tape. Addresses attributes of a healthy aereoponic setting.
4. Miniature spiral staircase: Addresses the possibility of constructing a permaculture environment vertically as to take advantage of natural energy resource such as solar, wind, and gravity.
4. Modular Form Experimentation: An exploration of surface and assembly through the manipulation of cardboard planes to discover advantageous features in material and geometry. Modular exploration.
3. Map of the Territory: The creation of a basic flow chart that highlight the integration of techniques in complementary areas of design centered towards permaculture practice.
2. On the Shoulders of Giants: The gathering of resource information and background in the area of permaculture. The historical key players and current authorities in the field of permaculture. (Presentation via video and power point) Highlights by Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton.
1. The One Week Thesis: The gathering of imagery and photographs plus the development of sketches that speak of what a possible permaculture environments can be (location and incorporation.) Proposes visual features in a permaculture system.
Statement of Activity and Work Plan:
Currently I feel that I have concentrated my efforts into finding, evaluating, and representing information regarding the path to my thesis. My direction seems clear even at times when I doubt my ability or feel uncertain as to what methodology to adopt.
The various tasks that have been presented as part of the R&D curriculum for class have helped look at the big picture in my ideas and question why I am pursuing elements of permaculture design practice.
Having looked at the various key players and the philosophy of permaculture at large. The practice and devotion in efforts of conservation and the implementation of optimum systems for the purpose of feeding, housing, or developing human habitats really inspires me. I foster the idea that a specialty is only advantageous when it can be balanced by the incorporation of other multiple disciplines working for equilibrium. Permaculture motivates me because it attempts to emulate nature as much as possible with the intent to conserve it. Permaculture does not promote an environment of austerity but instead an environment of balanced exchanges between inputs and outputs.
I feel that I need to sharpen my tool set and begging prototyping with the vacuform machine in campus. I feel that a very profitable next step would be to sketch small components for a modular planter design and its parts. I think that my concentration should begin to turn towards the actualization of the planter assemblage. I am also looking at extraordinary materials that can aid in the development of the unit and provide bonus features. Electrical transmissive materials that can transform heat into electricity could provide alternatives as to the utilization of electric water pumps that produce heat in the water the pump sit in.
11/3: Have a set of vacuum-formed parts ready for assembly or modification for the development of an integrated planter in the form of sketches and blue prints, if possible have a set of vacuum formed planter examples.
12/1: Have a basic vacuum-formed model and functional prototype that displays capacity for modular assemblage and integration of internal components such as feed lines, pumps, drainage, etc…
Statement of Purpose
In trying to define a suitable space for design practice and permaculture I have found my interest within the development of artifacts and environments that promote conservation and optimal utilization of resources and energy in urban crop growing.
I aim to construct a set of planters that incorporate elements such as irrigation, containment, temperature sensors, extraordinary materials, modularity and assembly, and in the long range, the development of an application (software) that complements the artifacts.I hypothesize that if average users are given a modular design that contains features for caring and growing crops, that average users would find it more appealing to grow crops for their own consumption. I am targeting users in urban environments where space limitations might be a factor, along with lifestyle and the desire to complement a healthy diet.
In my explorations I will utilize a green house space for experimentation and assembly, I will also prototype different container units for optimal crop variety according to a range of crops that is compatible with northern California weather and climate conditions. The wide range of micro-climates in the bay area provides a great opportunity to test sensors and adaptability.
The challenges are rooted in finding the best possible combination of product design materials. I want a design that incorporates minimal cost and that takes advantage of natural sources of energy such as gravity, solar, and wind.
Ultimately, I would like to develop a product that inspires users to grow a percentage of their food within their urban environments whether at home or in the public(non-profit) sector.