Initially, I took my first prototype and tried to scale it up. I wanted to create a prototype that was much the same in function but grander and more emotive. My first port of call was a visit to my parents house because I knew they had a lot of stuff that would look very at home in an allotment. I picked up a lot of materials and much to my classmates joy, I’ve started to make a bit of a mess in the corner of the studios.

Most of my time was spent considering how I could make this project better and more engaging. A  lot of  time was spent considering ways to animate the vane and how I could make the vanes interact in a way that was low on technology, easy to use, easy to understand and fun!

As time went on, stress increased and crazy ideas started coming out that were overly simple, out of sync with my research and not even particularly interesting.

I’ve made a spade!

I had a chat with Graham, our course tutor and was encouraged to hold my nerve. He also quite rightly observed that I have been limiting myself throughout this project. I have been so single minded in making this a product that is usable right now despite technical limitations in web, energy and a volatile environment.

This unlocked my project in a big way and for the first time in quite a while I considered how I could integrate the web into my project. Yes, the realisation is a little late but I’m comforted by the fact that I feel centred in my project for the first time in a while.

So getting stuck in; I’m happy to return to some ideas I had much earlier in the project. Now that I don’t feel limited by the rules of the allotments I can re-incorporate the sharing of food, encourage non-plot holders onto the allotments and make assumptions that may seem presently unrealistic but may change in the future.

After some deliberation, I have settled on creating a BakerTweet style device that keeps a twitter feed updated with the spare crops that have been grown on the plots.

Baker Tweet

BakerTweet

In order to create a closer link between people, their food and the growers of food, I’m looking to make a sort of digital noticeboard on which people can advertise their surpluses.

The challenge with this is directing people to the food.

Again, I considered using GPS, but it’d be pretty involved this late in the project and I’m not convinced it would actually add all that much to the experience. Once you actually get to the plot, I think a weather vane allows you to appreciate the aesthetic of the allotments in a way that you couldn’t get if you were too busy looking at your phone, trying to get directions.

I’m going to try this out and have a think about how it functions.

 

Read more from Struan Fraser at http://interaction.dundee.ac.uk/~szfraser/blog/?feed=rss2