Designer Davorin Mesari turns city residents into farmers

Sustainability Technology: Designer Davorin Mesari has created an indoor garden made up of 16 individual growing pods, allowing city dwellers with minimal space to grow fruits and vegetable. The growing units are stackable, so output can be doubled without compromising precious urban space.

Sustainability Problem: Access to Healthy Foods

According to Harvard’s School of Public Health’s website, “A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.”  They confirm that while all fruits and vegetables contribute to health benefits, “green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens” are some of the most important health contributors.  Despite these findings, many urban dwellers find themselves too busy to cook a healthy meal and rely instead on take out, delivery, or processed foods which are often unhealthy.  More often than not, these items are packaged in such a way that contribute to negative environmental impacts. Davorin Mesari’s innovative product, aptly named ‘Indoor Garden’  allows city residents to grow produce healthy food in the comfort of their apartments. This inventive technology creates an indoor modern garden that is powered by fluorescent lighting which mimics the natural solar spectrum allowing urban denizens to grow their own healthy vegetables and greens at home without creating unnecessary waste, and thus making the production of a healthy meal not only easy but more accessible.

Davorin Mesari’s state-of-the-art technology could be implemented in a central setting, such as a school or community center, as an urban agricultural project offering locally grown produce into a food desert, or area where there is limited access to healthy, fresh food. One issue with urban farming is finding the land on which to farm and ensuring that the soil is not contaminated.  With ‘Indoor Garden,’ you don’t need to find land on which to farm or worry about soil as the units come with growing pods and are stackable to maximize indoor space. Moreover, these units can serve as educational devices, and, once installed, can showcase the cultivation, harvesting, and the preparation of healthy meals.

Technology Stakeholders:

  • Urban Residents
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Urban Farmers
  • Farm to Table Enthusiasts

Process of Implementation: 

Step 1: Introduce this new technology through an educational workshop to a community group or school and describe the feasibility of implementation.

Step 2: Based on local interest and available funding, establish a site for implementation.

Step 3: Work with local businesses to attract further financing (if necessary) by creating excitement around the new technology.

Step 4: Once funds are raised and site is established, buy 5 units for testing and establish a protocol to ensure maintenance of product.

Step 5: Collect feedback from community group/school and establish ways to enhance the next phase or implementation at a second site.

Source: 

Yanko Design’s ‘Cultivation in the City by Troy Turner

The Nutrition Source (Vegetables and Fruits)

Starting A City Farm

App to help everyone become a scientist

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Technology:

Google’s new Science Journal app makes it easy to perform scientific experiments anytime.
The app lets users set up trials and experiments. It uses the sensors on a smart phone to record measure and explore the experiment’s data, and makes the analysis fun and easy to do. (As nerdy as it may sound – it makes science more fun than it already is.)

Article: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/google-creates-science-journal-app-inspire-next-generation-scientists.html
and http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-science-journal-science-app

Sustainability challenge:

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015. Goal number 4 reads: Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Making good education accessible to all is a major challenge for our current education system. In most situations, the wealthy still get better access to education and consequently more opportunities. This also means that lifelong learning is currently very expensive – be it for a 10-year-old in 6th grade trying to understand what gravity is, or for a university student who is drowning in debt.

An engaging and user-friendly app can take online learning to the next level. The article has a fun video explain how the Science Journal app works. A little girl in the video says: “Everyone is a scientist”. It looks like the app (along with the right implementation and usage) can make it possible.

Stakeholders:

  • Everyone who has access to a smart phone and the internet
  • Educators – rural, urban, privileged and under-privileged alike
  • Google and their global partner companies and service providers
  • Governments who can regulate education and technology policies
  • NGOs that are supporting SDG Goal 4: Quality Education

Process of implementation:

Introducing any new technology in the field of education has one major challenge – teaching the teacher before they can teach anyone else. Though this app is very easy to use and has an accessible to all, making the best use of it requires some basic training and in some cases also requires you to purchase some ad-ons (additional sensors or apps).

Currently the app has a few free and standard modules. Expanding this and consciously improving the quality of education provided will be another implementation hurdle.

A possible implementation model could be: Promote the app -> partner with schools and NGOs (like the Imagination Foundation) globally to make this accessible to all student -> use real-time data to improve the features offered and remove any bugs -> help provide good quality scientific education to all and promote creativity.

After all, Play is the best form of Research!

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