Skip Garden Seed Bombs
A project that was introduced to me when I was studying abroad at The University of the Arts London. It considered the culture of London, as well as conveying a complex idea through tangible design.
The task for this project was to choose one area in London that we appreciated, and convey a day-in-the-life of this location using graphic design. It was rather abstract, though gave me a lot of room for creativity and exploration.
When I began to consider locations, I was especially intrigued by a community garden nearby campus called Skip garden. It's not only a community garden, but it utilizes old skips, which is a British term for these large, wheel-barrel-like bins, used for debris and trash in construction settings. Take a look here: Skip Garden
Not only does Skips recycle, but they attach wheels on these skips so that the community garden is actually mobile. This means that it can move from location to location to really grow the community outreach. Another incredible thing about Skips, is the cafe that is located inside the garden. Not only is the space beautiful, but all of the food in the cafe is produced by the fruits, grains, and vegetables grown in the garden. It's an incredible model of education, outreach, and sustainability.
All of this research really inspired me to think of a creative solution to bring the outside individual into a day at Skips through design. Initially, I thought of creating an informational poster, but I decided that I wanted to do something more hands-on and interactive, just like Skips. I remembered how years ago in Portland Oregon, there was a gumball machine that had, for fifty-cents, seed bombs instead of gum. These were little gumball-sized soil artifacts that could be placed outside, and over-time, with water and love, would hopefully grow.
This seemed like the idea solution for the Skip garden. Creating a small piece of their goal and literally planting the seeds elsewhere. I researched how to create my own and it was simple enough; natural clay, soil, seeds, and a piece of twine to label the types of seeds. The next step was configuring how I would be able to show a day-in-the-life.
In a typical day, an individual will eat three meals, and since food is a main output for Skips, I thought a solution to show a day-in-the-life of Skips, would be to make three different bombs, one for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Of course, a traditional British breakfast has tomato, so this would be the first seed bomb, for lunch, a nice arugula salad, and then finally, for dinner, eggplant. To consider these three bombs, I decided to make packaging for each. Color, and illustration on the back of the box, and a label on the twine of the bomb all differentiated each one.
Arts and Crafts
Additionally, on each box I gave different information about Skips, what their mission is, how you can get involved, and more in-depth analysis' of the community garden and cafe. The box could stand alone, or work with others to create a bigger picture. Each bomb's label followed the color of the box, explained briefly how it can be used, and finally had a website to the Skip garden.
What I Learned
This project really helped to cultivate the creativity. Having an open-ended project allowed for me to be really inventive and think of a unique way to approach the Skip business. My goal is to bring awareness to Skips, and seeing random tomato plants growing in London might be an interesting way to promote Skips, but it really captures their goal to create a generation that is sustainable and globally aware.