Tale of food sustainability

The tale passed on from my Grandfather

The Circumstances of sustainability

  • Apartheid – trade sanctions
  • Trade cuts and Boycotting
  • Disinvestment from South Africa
  • Lack of food from imports
  • Society ration food

Tale: Easy effective method to for public to grow natural food.

Tale of Food sustainability

During these times my Oupa Kopie (grandfather) devised a creative method of growing plants and fruit that would allow the society to grow what they needed with little farming knowledge. The method was simple and involved a biodegradable container that held fertile soil and seeds (saplings), with holes for water and roots. The container would be placed in the soil, given the instructed amount of water and the holes would prevent too much water from being given. Over time the plant would grow and the lid would open to show the plant while the roots would dig through the holes at the bottom. This would continue until the plant was grown and the container degraded, leaving a grown plant capable of producing a variety of fruit. While this type of farming may be found in shops today, back then it was a product that was not available and it was born out of the need to sustain oneself with personally grown fruit.

Object of narrative using frugal innovation 




Map Enthusiasts tribe: use of maps

Introduction into map enthusiasts

The social thing I am seeking to create is for the map enthusiast tribe, a group of people that enjoy exploration and using their own observation to seek a path rather than being given a set destination.



map enthusiast

Essay related to tribe member Influence 

What is positive about independance a comparison of maps and GPS (link to PDF)


The map enthusiasts enjoy exploration, however they have a dislike towards technology due to the constant guidance that technology gives. I aim to look into how members of the tribe respond to technology that tries to give them a solution.

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Map Enthusiasts tribe: created style of using GPS

Purpose of analysing tribe meters use of GPS

One of the most commonly seen guidance technology is the GPS system that comes built in our mobile devices and vehicles. I will analyse what a member of this tribes response is to GPS

Analysis (click on image)


gps unique


There is many that use the GPS system to find their way and many who cannot make use of it without the simple postcode that gives them their destination. This member of the tribe prefers not to use this postcode and rather uses it as a digital map.

As I followed this member of the tribe I found a situation where he navigated through a blank space that a route finder could not access. Allowing the tribe member to use his own observation to find a route that the machine could not.

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Map Enthusiasts tribe: Treasured objects – map and dog – what tribe member trusts from a social thing

Purpose identifying what tribe member trust

In the process of developing a social thing that users can apply their observation skills towards, I felt I first needed to go back to what the member of this tribe treasures. I feel that the treasured objects that the tribe member values can be used as the form or behaviour that the social thing takes to encourage exploration.


Analysis (click on image)



The member of the tribe often trains and goes on walks as part f his routine to get our into the environment and explore in the countryside.


teasured objects


The treasured objects that the tribe member treasures takes the form of map and a dog, representing a form (map) that the user can apply his observation skills to while the other is responsive (dog) by creating reactions that reacts independently from their control. To begin with I will experiment with methods of allowing the tribe member to make use of their observational skills based on the form of a map.

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Map Enthusiasts tribe: plan for unique retro – humans prefer directions that use observation

Purpose of mobile map prototype

In order to create a social thing that allows members of the tribe to use their observational skills, I have begun to create a mobile version of the map that they can use to plot their own path.

Plan (click on image)

mobile mapssteampunkretro map


While the design of the mobile map based on steam punk technology allows the users to plot their own course, the experience appears unresponsive and would be more suitable to individual use than a social thing that draw other member of the tribe to communicate with on another. It is now that I am reminded of the engagement that people get through obtaining directions from other people and having to use their own observational skills to find locations. I will look into ways that responsive technology can replicate the experience of receiving directions from other humans.


– Look at Digital human research

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Digital human: Way finding – guidance technology

Purpose of guidance technology

Influenced by the search for a technology experience that replicates the human-to-human interaction, I was lead to a pod cast called Digital Human. Digital human is a podcast that expresses how technology can be adapted to human interaction and activities, specifically their season 9 way finding episode that expresses how to provide users with a guidance technology that allows users to make use of their observations skills.

Analysis (click on image)

I agree with the digital humans expression that we have grown to trust technology too much and room must be made for humans to use their own observational skills along side the technology. This also relates to the raw data (100 yards) that leave little room for human observation that users can obtain by receiving directions (look for church).

digital humans digital human analysis



I believe that if I am to create a responsive social thing that allows users to use their observational skills, I need to look into technology that can have independent responses similar to humans. This reminds me of the other treasure object of the tribe member the responsive dog. I will move forward to conduct research into the dog tribe member who engages with the behaviour of the dog.



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Pet Owner tribe: Pet survey – technology too predictable, dogs surprise you

Purpose of pet survey

Research into the reassured map object have demonstrated it to be unresponsive, therefore I will explore what dog tribe member are drawn to. I will then look into applying thoughs traits into a social thing that member of the tribe can engage with while having the opportunity to use their observational skills to explore.


Collaborative project with member of pet owner tribe Influence 

Shane Smidt Collaberative Project (link to PDF)


Survey Analysis (click on image)

This survey was conducted to identify what behaviour and traits draw people of the tribe towards dogs.

dog owner tribe intro

dog owner tribe

dog owner survey

dog owner survey 2

dog owner interview


Interview with members of the tribe (Click to hear interview)

Interview with tribe member 1

Interview with tribe member 2


Summary of controversial points that spark conversations

Raising Dogs: The interaction of raising, and training the dog enagages members of the tribe and leads them to seek advice.

Active routine: The active routine of walking and playing with the dog gets the tribe member out of the house and even leads to shared activities with other dogs.

Memorable behaviour: The dog has random momnets of behaviour that creates stories shared betwean members of the tribe.


While there are a variety of traits that members of this tribe are drawn to, I was particularly interested by their response that dog behaviour are memorable and appear alive, unlike the cold statistical responses of technology. I will move forward finding ways to adapt these traits to technology so that they may more actively engage with the social thing.


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Playful technology: illusion of living animal responsive

Purpose of illusion of living animal responsive

In the process of trying to adapt the animal traits of the dog to technology, I came across the “playful technology” book which expresses how technology has been creates to respond to humans as if it were alive. Analysing the methods that technology engages with humans would help me create a social thing that creates memorable experiences that allow them to use their observational skills.

Analysis (click images)

IMG_0179IMG_0180 IMG_0181 IMG_0182

As I researched into engaging methods that technology could react to human responses that lead to memorable experiences, I was advised to look into playful technology. I was surprised by the life it brought to technology when Pesce states “I get the four AA batteries into the casing. just as I tighten the screw” and in anticipation he goes on to say his “little tiger striped friend behind to chirp”. I am fascinated by the life that was breathed into the technology as he placed “AA batteries” in and the emotional attachment he had by calling it “little striped friend”. The way that the “Furby” creates the illusion of life is fascinating, as Pesce states “a white belly that just cries for a nice catch” and the way that the fury responds to that interaction by “koh-koh, please” demonstrates that it enjoys the users interaction. The act of living creates that technology uses allows the user to connect emotionally with the technology and interaction that nurtures the technology as Pesce states “Kah a-tay” is a responds to being “hungry” and that it was close to “lunch time”.

Analysis of technology with animal responses (click images)

living technology living technology 2 fictional technology characters


Technology communicates with humans (click images)

technology communicates with humans


Technology sparks communication (click image)


Technology social media


I am fascinated by the responses the technology has that create the illusion of artificial intelligence. Specifically the way that the technology creates sounds and vibrations as the circumstance encourages the user to observe and identify how to respond such as feeding.

Curiosity now leads me to question what behaviour a dog (treasured object) has in particular would be suitable to adapt to technology for the map enthusiast. I believe that I should conduct a unique survey of exploring with a dog and observe what behaviour encouraged me to observe my surrounding’s.


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Pet Owner tribe: walking dog animals are guided by what we cannot see

Purpose of walking dog animals are guided by what we cannot see

In order to understand what animal behaviour encourages exploration, I have begun a unique survey where I will walk a dog and analyse what behaviour lead me to observe and explore.

Walking Dog survey footage (click image)

IMG_0024 IMG_0026

Survey Analysis (click images)

walking dog survey


From my analysis of walking a dog, became fascinated by how the dogs ability to see what I could not lead me to various locations to explore. I felt that it was like being guided by an invisible force that only the dog could detect and I was left with my own observation as to follow or move away from what the dog leads me to. In order to further the development of the social thing I will go on to explore what methods of exploration for the map enthusiast are similar to the experience `I have had while walking the dog.


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Situationalist exploration experience: sensors responding to surroundings

Purpose of sensors responding to surroundings

As I explore methods of merging psycho geography with animals smell responses, I a realize that it is the dogs advanced sense of smell that allows it to guide us towards places with cannot grasp. Therefore I aim to look into technology that can react to the environment is way that we are not capable of.

Analysis of research (click image)

technologytechnology playful technology setuptechnology wifi streaminginital technology plan
look into what kind of sensors to use, how will it be worn, how would it effect you as you walk around the surroundings.


From my research into replicating the responses of a dog, I have researched sensors that can identify changes in temperature and determining distance from object through ultrasonic similar to a bat, which can be felt as feed back through actuators such as vibrations, light and sound.


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