On exhibit: Urban foraging project from the Public Design Workshop

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Work from the Public Design Workshop, that both LMC graduates and undergraduates continue to participate in, will be included in the upcoming exhibition “Field Test: Radical Adventures in Future Farming” at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

Running from March 11th through June 6th, the exhibit asks “what, where and how we should grow in the coming years.” The aim of the exhibit is to provoke visitors to question and reimagine farming. The show considers “what crops [we should] be planting now for a very different future.”

The featured work, The Bend-Branch Sensor, is a low-fidelity sensor system designed to monitor the ripeness of fruit that grows on trees, like apples, pears or plums. Rather than measuring and monitoring the fruit directly, the sensor monitors the bend in a tree branch: as fruit ripens it becomes larger and heavier, causing the branch to bend. Once the bend reaches a certain point, foragers are alerted that the tree is ready to be picked.

The Designs for Foraging project takes technologies from precision agriculture and redesigns them for the specific contexts of urban foraging. To date, it has explored the use of unmanned aerial vehicles like drones, sensor networks, and geographic information systems such as digital maps through a series of experimental prototypes and speculative designs.