Tuesday 15 November 2011

App or paper facilitator booklet?

So Ive been thinking for my biosphere device whether to have an app as a facilitator or digital prompts or just a paper based manual/ inspire learning log book.

If I don't have a facilitator in some form then it would be just seen as a sort of self contained aquarium and discovery learning would be unlikely to happen.
Do I just need inspiring questions?
The user to record changes? and comment and ask questions on them? Or for every observation to put a question?
Do i need rules/ structure to inspire observation/ new discoveries? Like myself or like Patrick Geddes guiding people around the tower?

I was looking at a project that used an ipad to control the water and nutrient levels of a terranium. The idea being to get people to get off their electronic devices, although some people thought rather than controlling these devices with a electronic device to just get off the device altogether.
If the idea of my device is to get people to re connect with nature? will using an electronic device as a facilitator take away from that?

Biome by Samuel Wilkinson as an example of the issues of perceptions of an app with a living device
Biome by Samuel Wilkinson
An application on a smartphone or iPad remotely controls the water, climate and nutrients reaching the flowers inside the flora terrarium.
Biome is a response to the speed of life in the digital age and encourages smartphone users to take time out to care for their plants.

comments by viewers of product:

So we promote 'digital downtime' by growing plants digitally? It can be useful when on holiday, i can give my plants water while abroad. Nice.
But should the quest really be 'finding an alternative use for smartphones' when you are looking for digital downtime? Isn't it more about finding alternatives for digital technology? Like finding a hobby. Like growing plants.

Do plants need an iphone or ipad to grow?
How watching more and more a screen can "encourages smartphone users to take time out to care for their plants" which are stucked inside plastic box.

Great product but I find the statement "Biome is a response to the speed of life in the digital age and encourages smartphone users to take time out to care for their plants." ridiculous. If the idea is to take time out to care for our plants, i.e. get off our phone, tablet, computer, tv, etc., then shouldn't we take care of plants (animals, people, etc.)
by actually getting OFF electronics and interact with living things the natural way? Again, really cool product, but that statement is a bit much.

A silly idea i agree with the others, but at least get a plant that fits that thing....
I can see its only a concept model, but honestly i think it needed much more thought before getting to that stage.

I WANT ONE! But do I really need an iPad or a iPhone to make it work?

Would have been a lovely product just as a plant-growing contraption. How lovely for people with very little natural daylight in their home/workspace to be able to grow plants anyway (although perhaps not the most likely to be able to afford it).

With all the app stuff as well it's like they've gone a bit too far along the Pointless Pseudo-Futuristic Invention line.

I love how it's like "tamagotchi" and Dezeen ppl understands that language.
It's cool how we can be like friends to plants through technology.

How ever did our planet's flora thrive before we designed white plastic environments for them?
The "living Tamagotchi" bit has to be ironic. Please tell me that's purposefully ironic.

In my view it is a good idea and that it is just a baby step to get people off their iphones. Maybe they will realise they don't need an app or electronic device for everything through using it.

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