Harvesting Ideas

design workshop 15-04-2013 panorama

Last week the EAT Design Team met to begin processing the pile of designs we harvested from EAT supporters during our two public design workshops on the 10th and 15th of March. We hoped for enthusiasm and ideas and got them both by the lorry-load. The workshops used our own tailor-made methodology including, among other things, the challenge of applying ecological design concepts such as systems, and interconnectivity and multi-functionality of elements.

design structure

During the workshops I first gave an introduction to the systems-thinking design framework we are working with (see above), then Iulia explained the lay of the land – literally – of the campus and the context of the Orion site we are going to use to make our design proposal to the board. The next stage involved everyone drawing an A3 design, individually, imagining what they would want to see or use in the EAT campus garden. Then we moved into several groups hosted by design team members, where personal designs were presented and a large A1 drawing was made using the elements and ideas that everyone agreed they liked best. During the second workshop we even managed to go to another stage where all the workshop members discussed and decided which key ideas we wanted to sample from the group plans. If you used room C67 in Leeuwenborg last Tuesday, you may have been lucky enough to see our fantastic artwork taking up the whole blackboard (we were working on the principle that bigger is better or, at least, more entertaining).

The suggestions for the garden were diverse, creative and sometimes quite unique; they included:

  • Agroforestry
  • Compost islands
  • Seedbanks
  • Keyhole beds
  • Hugelkultur beds
  • Fruit picking paths
  • Ponds
  • A round lecture table that doubles as a podium
  • Water catchments
  • A 5-person swing
  • A bicycle-through greenhouse
  • BBQs
  • Amphitheatres
  • Bees
  • Chillin’ zones
  • Bringing the sheep back to the campus

These were two memorable evenings and, like all creative endeavors, it was huge fun. Now the EAT design team have to record the process and work through the ideas and unite them with wishes from other university stakeholders. With the help of enthusiastic volunteers from the workshops, we plan to research some of the key suggested features in order to create links between our systems and achieve multiple uses for our elements. If you are interested in joining a Technical Team and one of the systems in the garden, contact us and share your passion and your training – email eatatwur@gmail.com

Thank you everyone!

/Fiona – EAT Design Team

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