This project is about using plants for practical/medical purposes and thus bringing nature back into our homes.
While we are consuming large amounts of air every day and night (about 11,000 liters), many of us don’t think about its quality. People are aware of air pollution in big cities, but what about our indoors, where we spend most of our time?
Air quality is in fact affected by everyday life objects like cosmetics, printer ink or synthetic fabrics that emmit toxins that can have harmful effects on our bodies.
Another case showing how the usage of selected plants can improve the indoor air quality significantly is the “greenest building in New Delhi”, a big office building, where Kamal Meattle used three common houseplants to improve the air quality significantly. You can watch his TED talk over here.
My project ideas
Starting from this research, I have three ideas in mind for my semester project that don’t necessarily exclude each other.
These ideas are:
AIRdvisor – a website that advises you on which and how many plants to buy and informs you about their effects and how to use them correctly to filter the air. The website could be associated with a small home device that monitors the air quality on site or have a more specultive approach, where you would get a plant recommendation on your current health issues.
SOL – a modular plant pot that’s equiped with a carbon filter, that improves the air filtering of the plants, as mentioned in NASA’s report, and lets you combine the “NASA plants” in the best way (technically and aesthetically).
NASA – a bed that focusses on and integrates the use of plants in your bedroom. This could be a bed with integrated plant pots or more extreme: a bed where you lie on earth instead of a mattress and plant the plants at the same time.
I started by buying the three plants used in New Delhi to see what care these plants really need and ordered some air quality measuring sensors for Arduino to analyse the indoor air quality in several places.
My focus will lie on the visualization of the gathered information, the structure and interaction on the website.
For that reason I will gather all the necessary information and start by making wireframes and first layouts.
Here are my first wireframes.
The interface consists of the landing page with informational text for some context as well as links to the three main parts: the configurator, the air quality analysis and a plant library.
The configurator helps the user narrow down which plants fit best for his needs.
Parameters such as room size, luminosity or maintenance can be adjusted with a few clicks.
The analysis page is coupled with a home device that can sense harmful gasses and shows a detailed overview of their concentration. A timetable shows the evolution of said values.
The plant information page suggests what kind of plants would fit the users needs perfectly, offers an overview of already possessed plants and an overview of all considered plants of the device.
By clicking on a plant’s icon, additional information like maintenance and price are shown.