48 Hour Inclusive Design Challenge, Seoul 2009
Jamsil Sports Complex, Seoul
12-14 October 2009
Sponsored and and co-organised by the British Council as part of their Creative Cities project and the Seoul Metropolitan Government
Team leader: Jim Dawton (Designit London)
Design partner: Jeong Soon Swang
Team Hi worked with Jeong Soon Hwang, an 82-year-old woman who ran an orchard in North Korea before moving to South Korea because of the war. She likes walking in the surrounding mountains but is not interested in taking up new activities or relationships at this stage in her life.
The teams' main challenge was to understand how to motivate people. They considered how when a person owns a dog it encourages their owner to be active and talk with others. The team aimed to create a product with these characteristics, but also for it not to be demanding or time-consuming.
Our Garden is a platform for social interaction, leisure and pleasure for people of all ages, abilities and nationalities. It consists of a series of gardens all over the city that belong to and are looked after by the public.
What is it?
People are given an invitation and a gift of a seed and asked to contribute to a garden in their neighborhood. The invitation pops up into a biodegradable flowerpot, with the opportunity to grow a plant at home and to bring the grown plant to their neighbourhood Our Garden.
It is hoped that some people will continue caring for the plants and enjoy them, perhaps harvesting them, picking fruits, comparing their plants and chatting with others. People can contribute as much or as little as they like.
Our Garden amalgamates vertical gardens, allotments and guerilla gardening. The team have used the vertical garden because it is more accessible to people of different abilities than the conventional one. A wheelchair user or a child would find it easy to plant a flower or pick a fruit. The gardens use minimal space and bring life to the city and give people the opportunity to touch, feel, smell, see and taste nature at their doorstep.
The modular plant holders can be multiplied to create gardens of various sizes and adapted to different situations. An irrigation system drip-feeds into the plants. A variety of media would launch Our Garden, from personally delivered invitations to posters encouraging the public to vote for the next garden site in their neighborhood.
Once established, the garden would publicise itself by using harvesting and planting festivals and other events. Our Garden website could connect Our Gardeners using the Internet. Our Garden wear would encourage inclusion beyond the gardens themselves.
The model can be implemented in Korea, but can flourish anywhere else in the world.