Industrial Design, Branding, Service Design, Sustainability.

ENGAGING THE GENERAL POPULATION IN TREE HEALTH THROUGH CITIZEN SCIENCE

Background

 

British woodland biodiversity is increasingly under threat from a range of pests and diseases, which are resulting in landscape level changes that have huge economic and environmental implications. In response to this, I designed an agar based spore trap that can be used to culture mould spores to identify fungal diseases.

The Problem

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Research & Insights

Research was really key to this project, Primary research with a range of stakeholders, from tree surgeons to scientists, generated a number of key insights whilst secondary research was used to identify technology and scientific methods for the early detection of pathogens.

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Design Development

Post It Note Ideation
Post It Note Ideation

Brainstorming ideas as a group with sticker dot evaluation.

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Low Fidelity Prototyping
Low Fidelity Prototyping

Prototyping using card and agar plates.

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Digital Sketchwork
Digital Sketchwork

Sketching early concepts for a spore trap.

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Early Model Testing
Early Model Testing

Early testing revealed that the form of the initial design was unsuitable and required redesigning.

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Electronics Prototyping
Electronics Prototyping

More sophisticated design exploring the idea of upgrading the traps for more invested citizen scientists.

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Form Exploration
Form Exploration

Exploration of natural forms to celebrate British trees and their biodiversity.

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Concept Generation
Concept Generation

Taking the natural forms and translating them into potential designs for the spore trap.

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Concept Development
Concept Development

Refining the form for the spore trap and deciding how the parts would sit together.

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Concept Refinement
Concept Refinement

Refining the design and identifying suitable colours that wouldn't attract birds or insects.

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Physical Prototype
Physical Prototype

3D printed prototype to evaluate functionality and use for experience prototyping.

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Paper Pulp
Paper Pulp

Attempt at moulding paper pulp to demonstrate CMF.

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Testing for Contamination
Testing for Contamination

Testing using dyed agar that turned participants fingers blue if they came into contact with it.

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The Solution

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Social and Environmental Benefits

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The spore traps are hung up outdoors to detect fungal diseases.

Users can share the trap with friends after they've taken a sample to gather more data and raise awareness.

The whole spore trap can be industrially composted at end of life.

Data about the fungal diseases can be plotted to monitor their spread.

Management strategies can be implemented to protect woodland habitats.

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Community engagement through sharing spore traps and discussing results.

The reward of actively contributing to science and research.

Improved wellbeing through immersion and engagement with nature.

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Promoting education about social, economic and environmental benefits of protecting woodlands.