Week 7: Feasibility-Assessment Prototype

Posted on: Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Towards the end of September, amidst a chaotic time, the Octobox team was divided over the Sustain-A-Stack idea. One of the main concerns was that this whole system would turn out to be overly difficult to implement because of the scope of the project. Let’s face it, we weren’t building a website or some handheld device; we pretty much agreed to stay away from products like those because, first of all, we’ve been building websites all our lives. And secondly, the logistics of handheld devices can easily become an application for cellphones. In other words, we had already established our design values.As you all know, we saw potential in working with furniture (no, not in the sense of integrating a screen and labelling it interactive, but in creating an aesthetic and designerly balance). Further, we were skeptical of the miniaturizing of existing technologies. So the supporters of “Sustain-a-Stack” met over the weekend of September 30th to put together a rough prototype that addresses some of the concerns the non-believers had.

Now, cue Pete, a 98-cent plant purchased in a distressed state from Home Depot. It’s fate is to be locked in a dark locker for days with only a tiny LED light to provide it its chlorophyll need. We couldn’t get the components we needed so we scrapped around and found some blinkers to serve that purpose. We put it in a box and left it in a locker for an entire week- taking it out occasionally to give it a breath of fresh air. We only watered it once.

The results were staggering. The first week showed that it was becoming more healthy from the bombardment of red led waves. We decided to keep it going and as of this post, Pete now looks like a healthy plant worth at least quadruple of what we paid for! It seems to have also grown as a result!