The last couple of days have been a bit of a Yoyo, but I think we are finally on the right track. Here, let me explain.

Last week, on Thursday, September 30th, we presented the class with type of signs and where to place the sign on the lot. Also we showed two new layout suggestions. (below)

(not the real colours ^ but just the design aspect. Green = photos, Pink = Text)

We were then given an Idea that we could build a greenhouse cold box, and use one of the panels for the sign. This way, it is both useful, informative, and working art.

So, on Tuesday, October 5th, we gathered with the Eco House team and collaborated on a design.

The box would 2 feet tall, 6 feet long and 3 feet wide.

There would be two long boxes, and then a artistically design in the middle, this way people would be intrigued and more willing to walk along the lot. It was exciting seeing the idea start to come to life.

The Ecohouse Team and Sign team Collaborating – the video. Click to See!

We used painters tape, and drew the shape on the floor and wall, so we could have a visual aid. It was easier this way, to understand what it could look like, and how we could build it.

It would be made from mostly plexiglass or just glass, with a wooden frame. It would slope down from the top, and have three panels where the middle panel would have the information. Above was trying to figure out how high the base should be.

So, with the designs sketched out, and the tape laying out on the ground, the next step was to present this to Noel.

However, we were hit with reality. Costs, how its going to be built, who’s going to build it, etc.

Now we’re back at where we were. We’re gathering our research, and writing out what will be on the sign.

We will talk about the Past, the Present and the Future of the lot, using pictures, illustrations and possibly a story format to explain the story of the Wildflower Garden.

By Thursday the writing will be done, so we can edit it and discuss what needs to be added or changed.

Some good news, on the other hand, is a few of our members also went out and measured the lot, and drew an amazing map with the dimensions. With this map, not only can our team decide where the sign can be located, but for other groups as well when they can’t be at the lot. It’s going to be a very useful aid for the future.

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Decisions, Decisions.

From one task bloomed several designs and ideas. This week we are deciding the size, height… where should the sign go? Should it be angled? Should it be long and short, or big like a billboard? Should the sign have a lot of pictures or more information? What pictures should we have? The ideas are endless, but we have to shorten them down to one. It’s harder than it sounds.

As for the design, Christina and Sarah are collaborating together, polishing their ideas to be able to make just one sign. Meanwhile, we have Vic and Sarah figuring out the wording, what kind of information should be on the sign and how it should be presented. We want the words to be eye catching but informative.

Then we have Yiyao, Mengjia and Akiyo researching. We want to be able to inform everyone about the purpose of the Ecohouse and Green Corridor. Did you know not only is this a class, but it’s also a non-profit organization?

Next step is to put all the information together and form simple paragraphs and then put everything together as one sign.

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The Sound Wall Completed: Ready For Testing

The prototype versions of what will hopefully be used to create a sound reducing pocket park along the green corridor is complete. After placing the daub (a mixture of clay, sand, straw and water) on the pallets, we waited till they were dry and installed them in their temporary locations.

First we had materials delivered to us by PCR Contractors, the group building the new engineering building. They gave us a good helping of clay, sand, rocks and a bale of straw.

Then we began to mix.

After the daub was mixed we were able to apply it to the pallets, let them dry, then install them. All went according to plan, now they need to be tested for sound canceling ability.

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The Stakes are High!

Now that our Wildflower group has chosen the design the next step is plotting it onto the land. Since our lot size had increased we needed to figure out how to map out the design in a way that was easy, legible and sturdy enough to withstand stomping, wheel barrels and rainfall. Our plotting option involved simple materials: STAKES and STRING! First, we made our own stakes out of scrap wood we were able to find at the Lebel Building (School of Visual Arts). Next, we headed over to the EcoHouse to start putting the stakes in the ground. We determined where all the stakes needed to be by figuring out each spot where lines intersected and ended. The final step was to tie the string to the stakes,creating a map of the design lightly floating above the land. Once this was done, the Wildflower group got really excited…it really felt like everything was coming together.

The design staked and plotted

Homemade Stakes and the Land Plotted

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This just in…Wildflower group decides on landscape design!

The design in the red square is our final choice

The Wildflower Group’s next phase involved choosing a final landscape design. We had narrowed down our choices to 3 types of designs. The first design option was something simple and easy-a square foot garden (square shaped garden beds). The pros of this design are that it is easy to build, access and maintain. The cons are that aesthetically, it’s a little boring. The second design option involved something a little more complicated design wise. This option included a slightly more detailed design with curves or an outline of a symbol. The same pros and cons applied as the first option. Lastly, our third design option was a much more detailed landscape design that incorporates weaving pathways within the garden. The pros to this design are that aesthetically the design is exciting, fun and the addition of pathways invites pedestrians to come on in and explore. The cons to this design option are that to build it, will add considerable more work for our team in the plotting and upkeep. In the end we compromised. Our final choice for the garden combined elements of our first design- squarefoot gardening- and our third design- an elaborate design. The official design is the one with the red square.

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Halfway through already?!?!

We did our midterm presentation in Thursday’s class. In the presentation, we talked about all the things we had done and the future plans which included the mind map at the beginning, the difficulty of the communication with the Campus Community Garden Project, cooperation with the wild flower group, and last but not least, the idea of implementing a Green Corridor sign at the Ecohouse. After listening to the advice of the “star-studded” panel, we realized that there were still a lot of things that need to be improved.

Here is the list of the things we need to do next:

  1. make the purpose of the sign more clear
  2. do more research on the design of the sign
  3. pay attention on selecting the material for the sign which should be stronger
  4. learn the experience and knowledge from other groups and use them in our project
  5. work together and brainstorm the problem we face
  6. think about the suggestion of square gardening
  7. Incorporate our difficult experiences into our report
  8. seek other opportunities for the eco house beyond designing the sign
  9. think about the question of “who will look after the garden in the future?” and try to find right solution

    Design for the Ecohouse sign (1)

Ecohouse Sign Design (2)

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GCompost brightens your day, and a dryer

It has been an exciting week for GCompost as we anticipate the completion of our third  composter.

The composter dryer is in its third phase of completion with the application of the outer asthetic design. As we discuss different ideas of how to display an exciting and eye catching outer shell to the dryer, the other half of the group is in the process of acquiring compost for our first drop. Food services agreed to provide us with some compost today so that we could test out the designs.

We are excited to see how the designs progress with their first load of compost. As we look to the future we are on schedule to complete composter and business plan by April 6th and be able to present our accomplishments and projects plan for future groups.

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