Use Case Scenarios

Here are three I have Identified and will be targeting this is they synthesis of a great round of prototyping and feedback, from User Testing Prototype 3… hang tight for the connection.

1. Professional Urban Farmer
As an urban aqua or hydroponic farmer, as such I am not afforded the space of a traditional farmer. With a dozen systems spread around the borough, daily maintenance is burdensome and tedious from multiple locations a day. Hydronet Modules are installed in each of my ‘fields’ providing real-time scientific-grade crop data, allowing me to deal with emergencies, remotely manage the ecosystem, and tailor growth plans based on environment trends.

2. Community / School
We are interested in learning to grow our own crops for our community. We have/will be building an aqua or hydroponic system where multiple people will be involved with care and maintenance, many of whom will be learning/volunteering. With real-time accurate environmental information we can better understand and react to what is occurring. This helps us understand if certain people need re-training or are neglecting systems, before crop loss occurs.

3. Individual/Family
I love having fresh vegetables in my home aqua or hydroponic system. Sometimes I need reminders about what my crops like – from nutrients to light and co2. Having my gardens data gives me access tailor nutrient plans for my crops, and learn to maximize my yields.

Fall Final Proposal

In acknowledging the Social, Conceptual, Technical, Methodological and Evaluative portions of the aforementioned posts.There seems to be a potential solution to provide users better access to fresh affordable foods. In recognizing the research within the User Module of the Prototyping section an augmented consumer vs. producer model drastically changes the relationship to stores and markets within a neighborhood. With this model in mind it is apparent that  methods for individual and community research, exploration and engagement within recirculating, sustainable eco-systems must be designed as a foundation to empower neighborhoods to cultivate healthy self-sufficient local economies.

In order to actualize this solution three key elements must be met: 1. Users must be provided with the ability to create and manage their own productive eco-systems via an interface to support users through data feedback;  2. Aesthetic solutions must be designed in order to effectively integrate eco-systems into everyday spaces, as a means for promotion, awareness and adoption; 3. Facilitated user implementations must be at scales which can be supported by resources available to participants, as well as ensure a viable cost to produce ratio.

Download the final presentation here, a recorded version of many of the presentations are in the works so check back soon.

Evaluative Module

Approaching the Evaluative Module last allowed for reflection upon the entire semester, as well as an analysis of the work completed to date. Download the week_10 presentation here.

This module facilitated reflection upon the all the previous modules, including the filtration specific module. This module allows for the evaluative frameworks to be applied. In approaching the evaluation of the work completed during the Fall Thesis Section, it became important to find other frameworks to support the project. Realizing that the projects main goals were to support sustainable economies and communities, it became evident that the Five Principles of Ecological Design written by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowen would provide strong framing for the examination and its potential success.

The Principles of Ecological Design are outlined as follows:

1. Solutions grow from place
2. Ecological accounting informs design
3. Design with nature
4. Everyone is a designer
5. Make nature visible

This guiding framework led to another guiding framework for my own prototypes as seen here (figure7.a).

The evaluation document serves to showcase glaring flaws and potential directions for prototypes. As future prototypes are built they will be designed using successful elements while avoiding past pitfalls. This also provides opportunity for reflection and analysis in illustrating the components and advancements of the prototypes. Categorizing the sections serves as a checklist for each sequential examination. In doing so a greater understanding of choices, decisions and outcomes is fostered, as well as a concise metric for evaluation.

Soft Walks

Had a really interesting meeting the other day with a team member from the Transdisciplinary MFA program here at Parsons. They are doing some interesting work, and are framing it around the notion of the Infrastructure of Sanctuary, which really sparked my thought processes. After our discussion we saw great deal of overlaps in our work and research, there may be some co-aligning of research here at certain junctures.

Check out some of there work here »

Thanks Tami and Steven for facilitating the cross studio collaborations!


The methodological module provided the opportunity to examine successful projects, in
order to understand the methodologies they implemented. During this time period a
variety of precedent projects were researched. Three projects were highlighted as key precedents to the body of research being conducted. The rationale for their role as a precedent was articulated and then each project was examined by a framework, in order to best understand its approach and results. Download the methodological presentation here (presentation-wk9).

Each precedent was outlined by its Approach, Medium, Planning and Result. The three projects analyzed were Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates, Britta Riley’s Window Farms, and Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs’, Farm Fountain. These projects showcased themselves as the most relevant to UNAS, and their successes, warranted further analysis (figure5.a). In the end, this task facilitated a keen understanding of the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as avenues for adoption and an outline of what makes successful projects in Urban Agriculture.

The exercise highlighted the need for community involvement, through the methodology of both Edible Estates and Window Farms, and their success being related directly to fostering communities of people. Farm Fountains inability to foster a community highlighted a disconnect and a potential area of growth for them. Overall the methods for success were noted and are key to set the methodology for which this work must observe. At the same time this analysis facilitated the projects analysis into the Evaluative Module.

the Technical Module

After researching the conceptual and social aspects of local food production, and getting a good idea about who and what I am talking about, I decided to tackle the technical aspects of what I am building. In the end I have come to the realization that I am building a system to create an efficient networked aquaponics garden to foster sustainable communities. By creating a network of small gardens, urban producers/gardeners/farmers will be able to spread their gardens out and receive vital update dynamically via the control and tracking system.  

Take a look at my presentation for an update to my thinking.








Thinking Conceptually

In order to examine the true concept behind this project I found the inspiration to examine history as a method to understanding where technology, agriculture, and social progress have met. The examination has lead to new questions but I believe has solidified how I will approach the rest of the project. Take a look at my latest presentation examining the historical contexts of my concept and how it relates. View the presentation here »