Friday, 25 September 2009

one step further.

My most recent project for university is to design and build a radio. Now it might be horribly true that video killed the radio star and i cant really believe that if i create a magnificent and revolutionary radio that suddenly radio will become great and families will gather round it at night instead of slobbering over the t.v. god i miss the tele. so i imagine the times when your face is scraped off the t.v is when you're not near mains, near mains or when you're not paying great attention to anything as t.v. is quite a big distraction its not great when you re working on something.

now to reference to the title. the first blog i did (this being the third. no one reads this but jade anyway, hi jade) about making products that grew. i have an idea for the radio and since i thought of working in the garden it would be a smashing idea to see how plants got energy. solar power easy. watering a radio? no idea how that would work, the only thing i could imagine would be if i were able to split the hydrogen and oxygen up through a filter and some how extract an electron like a hydrogen fuel cell but i think I've made this up.
energy from soil? hm there a low level way of getting heat from the soil to power the radio, probably not. compost plants love the stuff how could i make that a continual power source for a radio though. no clue (yet). plants love horse shit. but i don't think a radio pumping out bio fuels would be a great way of doing things.
so i propose that the radio be carnivorous. since two plants i know do it and then get energy that way. people don't like slugs and snails eating all their hard work and labour so why not let a radio eat the slugs and come out as sweet sweet Terry Wogan. we know how to lure in flies with certain lights and smells, is there anything that can attract slugs and snails? I also believe there wont be technology advanced enough that can make slugs into a respectable amount of energy to run a radio.

A second or conjoined idea is a kenetic energy. Where a spring is tightened by a seeming bird feeder. It should blow in the wind at times to power it like that and when a bird lands to feed it should tighten also, and it'll keep the birds from eating those lovely worms that make your plants grow so nicely.

feedback? not you jade.


  1. Hello. (first thing, change the font size on your blog, it's impossible to read).

    I was given your blog website by a friend and they asked me to leave you a comment. I take it you're a second year Product design student yeah. I know the project you are going on about, so I can give you some advise.

    I love your topic that you are using. It's great and one of my personal interests so i will be interested to see what you come out with. You have taken a very open minded approach to it- very good. This is always great for the beginning of a project when you are trying to take as much in as possible, just remember to have some control, this is design after all. So an outdoors radio/garden radio/ plant radio have you been shown lee's radio? it's very smart and based on the lifestyle of the user. If you haven't ask to see it or be told about it, also lee will be ecstatic that someone has come to talk to him about one of his projects. Hmm products that grow?!? I can't think of any examples for you to look at but i'll keep my mind open for you. But this is a very interesting concept, don't be afraid to explore a territory that hasn't been discovered, challenge views and concepts.

  2. Not sure if you know but plants get energy through photosynthesis! Photons hit the leaves and turn into energy (somehow, but it's along those lines) but that's how they created solar pannels. But it sounds as though you want to go along the lines of chemical reactions. All i can say is 'careful'! You're not a scientistic (although we would like to be) and this is only a three month project. I'm not saying not to though. Remember it's rational that is key! I think if I am right and the brief is still along the same lines then it's about understanding the user or the interaction...does a chemical reaction describe a user or interaction? Nice area though and I would agin be interested in how you did this, just sounds a little too adventurous, but it's nice to see you challenge yourself! And things aren't supposed to be easy.

    Watering a radio!!!! Now there is a LOVELY idea. Play around with the volume (as in size) concept. So that could be playing around with the volume (as in noise) or tunnning. If you are stuck with that then look into poteniometers and I think you can get something like a float switch (like on a kettle) or even a spirit level but in sensor terms i think it's called a speedometer for measuring tilt (like on an iphone) but think of the interaction you can have by tilting the water in a glass to changing the station. My advise is to try and keep your ideas visual. How might a user see a change. Try looking at the water projects on

  3. yanko for inspiration. Also sounds like you are trying to get very sciency with this idea, careful, again you are not a scientist! but it's better to have too much so that you can pull yourself back. Also remember this is a RADIO project not a project about how to create new methods of energy! But I can see that you want to put an interesting twist on this, which is good, but remember why you are putting this twist on it.

    The bird feeder one sounds very interesting too. (Do you think the weight of a bird could charge a radio?). careful again you are trying to create a radio but it looks like you are also trying to solve other problems too, that's good and nice, but don't get distracted. Altogether it looks like you are aiming to create a radio which is about not using batteries because they are seen as wasteful, try thinking of other products that aren't using batteries or some kind of fancy innnovative technology to charge them...e.g. rechargeable batteries, how about just plugging it into the mains, listening through headphones instead of loud speakers. To make something sustainable you really have to understand sustainability first and surprisingly that is actually very hard to grasp, someone will always always have a contrasting view. But I admire that you are trying to do this.

  4. My advise to on this project is to think about how people live and their lifestyle. you should have a clear understanding of this from your users card you created. Think about the interactions. how can you compare the interactions of the radio to plants. There is a lot there. Think about where the user would use the radio. I honestly think there is tones you could do on this.

    Just remember to have fun with it and be creative. If you need inspiration, ideas, or to speak to me come to my studio or leave a comment on my blog.

    ok I have spoke a lot on this. hope it has helped. sorry if it has depressed you. Keep going. I love the sound of it.

    sorry had to put about 4 comments becasue blogger doesn't like it when you go over 4,000 characters, sod them!

  5. I think beer attracts slugs and snails - it's an old gardener's trick (maybe young gardeners too!)
    Slug pellets seem to emit something that sends them wild but remember that they're poisonous to cats!
    What about a composting bin approach with brown waste (paper, card, veg) and soil + worms? Generates heat (energy) plus produces good stuff for the soil. A gardener's radio...

  6. i found tibbles, where's my prize? i presume its like where's wally?