AMS Spring 2023

Make all Things Part 4 – Expert Opinions

Inkbit

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Pumping Station One

Recently we have not done a bunch of updates on this project. The project has been in somewhat of a stand still as a majority of this current time frame with the project involves getting opinions and ideas from experts within the field of vertical gardening. You would be surprised how difficult it is to track down individuals or organizations within Chicago who are giving info out on this kind of stuff. I have learned through the time that it has taken to develop the project some of the benefits of design thinking as well as the major cons to design thinking and project building.

Personally, I come from a rapid prototyping mindset. This refers to getting a less than perfect first iteration out as quickly as possible. I truly think this is ideal within the world we live in now. To much time is lost when continuously looking for ideal circumstances. We have done a lot of design research and it is frustratingly tiring. There is value to gathering info though within the research part of the project. I can tell though that this lack of momentum when it comes to building something tangible does get a team bored and frankly disengaged.

Rapid Prototyping

Design research means nothing unless one makes a product. So far we have gathered various info within the realm of vertical gardening and crops to just have enough knowledge to be dangerous. Something I have done a lot for our project group is email correspondence.  I tend to get flooded daily with emails so I am just alright with adding on to that never-ending cycle. I have done a lot of outreach to different organizations within Chicago, but rarely have I received ample response. One organization has reached out to me and sent great insight into vertical gardening.

Plants On Walls

This organization told us to look into what is down through the organization Plants on Walls. Plants on Walls is an interesting concept as they apply their technology from the small scale to large scale installation. It is nice to see what they do design-wise because they were able to implement a very high quality design that can be applied across a small scale to a large scale in a simple and sleek manner. They do this through their specific plant wall design that allows a plant to be essentially embedded within a pocket. This allows for the pocket to be placed within various wall encasing or shelves that they have created. This allows them to leverage the indoor decor customers as well as the industrial scale clients within their portfolio.

Although I have stated that I do get restless with the design research and learning from experts, it does shorten my mishaps and it forces me to reanalyze my perceptions of what makes a good product. Without outreaching to the Chicago community, I would not have learned about the things that other vertical gardening setups do in terms of design. I would not see how the value of simplicity within design, and our team may have designed a first prototype that is truly not that great.

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