9pm Thursday 21st Jan 2016 - Precedents Research Due
10.30 am Friday 22nd Jan 2016 - Brainstorming exercise (in-class)
10.30 am Tuesday, 26th Jan 2016 - Proposals Due
10.30 am Friday 29th Jan 2016 - Desk crit / Build; 1st-cut design/prototype due
10.30 am, Tuesday, 2nd Feb 2016- Crit/Review of outcomes
10.00 pm, Tuesday, 2nd Feb 2016- Digital Documentation Due
On Earth we have a multitude of ecological interactions, mechanical interventions and technology assists to help us grow and sustain our gardens, fields and plants.
Butterflies and bees help cross-pollination. Insects and earthworms help with soil aeration. Trowels help turn the soil or aid in planting new crops. Fertilizers and other chemical agents add nutrients for growth; and there are a range of technologies for helping with these processes: for monitoring, for harvesting, and more besides.
We won’t have most of this on Mars. Or should we pack the butterflies?
On Mars, things will be different:
What is the watering can or trowel we’ll take to mars?
Will HAL be our gardener - will it be fully automated or assisted remotely?
Will we have an flock of drone bees to pollinate?
Will we even grow things in the way we do on Earth (hyrdoponics/aeroponics/something else)?
In this exercise you’ll speculate on the ways in which we’ll care for plants in the biome. You’ll also need to consider the questions that surround this biome and the practices of sustaining plant(s) for a minimum of 18-months. Finally, we’ll need to think differently about how we care, nurture and sustain these plants and how we use technology to do this.
This exercise is designed to develop knowledge relating to telematic plant growth and help to develop a body of knowledge and proposed solutions for the Martian biome. As part of this exercise, you will:
Develop your domain understanding of plant growth, and the biological, ecological and technological knowledge that’s needed for this project
Investigate existing earth analog technologies which can be adapted for use on Mars
Explore potential solutions for remote gardening on Mars ranging from the practical to the outlandish (strongly encouraged);
Develop a proposal that begins to consider mission requirements for Mars (payload, redundancy, reliability, etc.)
Work collaboratively and explore the skillsets, expertise and opportunities within the interdisciplinary participants of this course.
Develop a speculative / conceptual design for a martian garden and propose a series of ‘tools’ that will be used to tend this garden.
The proposal should consider the lifecycle of the plants (from sowing seeds to mulching and/or picking fruit)) and an 18-month deployment on Mars prior to human arrival.
Develop at least one working prototype that demonstrates the idea.
Unusual approaches, left-of-center thinking and impracticality is encouraged!
A speculative proposal / conceptual design
A digital presentation of your design work (3 minutes maximum)
A working prototype of one ‘tool’ (robotic/technology analog) for tending the Martian garden
Final deliverables to be presented at the Crit/Review
All Investigations follow the same format: a series of small collaborative exercises that build towards a bigger vision. The format is 2-week rapid explorations of a theme, idea or theory, following four stages: Research-Ideation-Build-Reflect
Investigations will be conducted over a 2-week period (4 classes). The goal of investigations is to encourage:
unconventional approaches to practical problems
deep research and development of core knowledge, theory and methods
applied exploration as a means to problem solve and integrate theory
Students will collaboratively and rapidly explore a provocation as part of a series of four-coupled pressure-projects.
Teams will conduct research on the investigation theme.
Each person will identify and rigorously review two precedent projects (creative projects, research papers, theory, ideas, methods, etc.) that relates to the theme
The goal is to broaden your understanding of the field and deepen your knowledge of prior work that’s relevant to this project and to the course. You’ll be expected to select a couple of works and report on your findings with a critical perspective.
Objective: Report on two works you haven’t seen before, are relevant to the project and you find particularly interesting.
Create a post, embed a video and/or images of the project, and write a short critical reflection on the project (about 200 words) in which you:
Briefly describe the project (a couple of sentences) and who made it.
Describe why you selected the project (what is interesting, inspirational, etc. about it)
Critique the project - what are its shortcomings; how could it be made better, what did they get right and what didn’t they get right and why, etc.
Draw relationships to other work: What inspired or informed it? Compare this project with related work, precedent projects.
Draw relationships to your work: How does it relate to your ideas for your project?
Submitting this work: Post research outcomes to the #rme channel on Slack ahead of class
Teams will brainstorm to explore
Teams will generate a well documented and large set of possible, plausible, preferable and probable ideas. This will be accomplished in part through in-class exercises. Working in groups the objective will be to integrate research and speculative approaches into a proposed outcome.
Submitting this work: A short 200 word proposal should be submitted to the #rme channel on Slack ahead of class. Everyone should review and discuss online.
Each team will prepare a working prototype of a technical system to showcase their idea. Hardware, technologies and other resources can be requested.
Teams will prepare a digital presentation and take part in a crit on Tuesday. The crit is equally an opportunity to showcase success as well as pose open questions and highlight challenges or failures encountered. Teams should use the opportunity to reflect on the exploration and what it reveals for the Martian biome we plan to build in the 2nd half of the semester.
Submitting your work: Digital presentations will be made in class. Digital documentation of their work (see below) on the IDeATe Gallery by end of day.
Summary: Submitting your work
Post an update of your investigations and collaborative work to the #rme channel on the course slack before each class (as discussed in process).
Final documentation for the project should be submitted to the IDeATe Gallery before the due date.
Each group should prepare a 3-minute digital presentation of their work and bring a working prototype to the Critique on
Include a write up of the following:
Speculative Proposal / Conceptual Design: Describe your vision. What is the driving idea behind your garden? What are your goals and motivations?How will it work for 18-months?
Prototype: Describe your working prototype: What did you create, how, etc.? What tools and technologies were involved? Include appropriate content and illustration
Precedents: Describe the prior work, ideas and projects that influenced your design. What work informed this idea. What other technologies, tools or investigations did you draw on.
Process: Describe how you arrived out the outcome. What iterations, refinements, design decisions and changes were made? Who did what?
Reflection: What did you learn? What would you do differently?
Open Questions and Challenges: What questions remain to be addressed? What are the challenges we’ll face when we build the structure at scale?
Attribution: Reference any sources or materials used in the documentation or composition.
Each of these sections should be no more than 200 words max. and well illustrated (images, videos, etc.)
For the Project Info’s goal description: it must be tweetable - summarise your outcome in no more than 140 characters