Idea Cultivation

I just had a strange and terrifying thought about where my Final Major Project outcome is heading.

If I end up following through with my current plans as they stand, it looks like somebody will have to diligently water my final piece.

This is of course, based on the premise that I do submit my proposal in its current state. The details of which I should probably elaborate upon…

Having developed my ideas since this initial point of conception, I have now refined my outcomes and project definition. I can now confidently say that for this project I have created Oasis: a charity whose mission is to encourage the use and protection of natural spaces in urban places, as well as support the creation and sustaining of new ones. These could be large or small, but the key message is that these are parts of our environment that are good for us all. The presence of organic matter in densely urbanised areas has been proven to have numerous benefits- increased in air quality, noise reduction (in larger spaces), lowering temperature and providing mental relaxation and stimulation, to name a few. With this is mind, Oasis is looking to bring a slice of nature back into the city, in a sensually stimulating, playful and functional way.

Portable and completely rearrangeable seating sets can be placed anywhere in a town or city, for use by inhabitants and passerbys. Approximately 60cm in height and 2 metres in length, each of these bed/benches will be covered in a layer of planting that can withstand bruising and rough treatment. By encouraging visitors to use these beds for relaxation or just to simply reconnect with nature in an unusual location, this planting will be sensually appealing in colour, texture and scent. These plants will be picked for the contributions they can make to the installations that will support Oasis’ conceptual message of connection, interaction and playful well-being.

Ideal candidates for this include camomile, thyme, mint, speedwell and moss, all of whom variations will be hardy and provide safe, intriguing experiences. Some fantastically useful and specific information was gleaned from the website: Stepables. After exhausting my imagination for Google search terms, ‘plants to walk on’ was the brutally direct entry that after researching scented lawns, finally yielded results.

So to present a thorough proposal of this concept, it makes sense to grow small samples and appropriately style holders for the plants that may be used for this seating. Which is where my opening thought unravels its meaning!
As much as I would love to cultivate a scale model of these seating arrangements, time is already a factor and I will make do happily with what varieties I can find of these plants. In order to make sure they are happily situated in a container suitable for presentation, I suspect I should buy established specimens as soon as possible.


There is also an aspect of ‘green typography’ to this project that I am greatly saddened to see go. Hopefully there will be time to use the modular alphabet I have devised, in a billboard advertising concept. Admittedly, there are still a few kinks to work out of its legibility and differentiation between H, W, N, M, U and W!

The mockups so far of the concept have looked rather interesting, and my small scale planting tests have indicated that living examples might be possible to grow within two weeks.






Where green, a sub-layer of planting would be allowed to grow through a template of text and become overgrown over a period of time. A living billboard! Sounds pretty interesting to me at least! While by no means one of a kind (an example by Coke here and another by an English wine producer here – perhaps un-surprisignly, outside Westfield shopping centre), this is a medium that is still relatively young. The second example link posted was done so 7 months ago (approx September 2011) and was being hailed as the world’s first living billboard! It would be lovely to think that I was jumping on a bandwagon while it was still gaining speed!

Maybe a couple of ‘2 weekslater’ simulations will make it a more viable part of the proposal as a whole? It should count as advertising within the canon of the proposed concept, but if theres anything that my Minor Project taught me, it is ASSUME NOTHING.

I have some progress shots of my cardboard seed growing experiments to post soon, but having just turned 1:15AM I’m sure they can wait until tomorrow.

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