The Beyond scarcity hackathon was an interesting mid opener to explore various directions for our final pcomp project. There were three main themes to the beyond scarcity hackathon: alternative narratives, making the invisible visible, and internalities (internalizing costs, to counter the economic concept of externalities). Me and Jasmine wanted to continue to explore the idea of human-plant mutualism, and teamed up with Viniyata, Andy, and Lola to create a project which falls under the alternative narratives and making invisible visible category.
We combined the story of the Alley Pond Giant, a large tulip tree in Queens and probably the oldest living organism in New York City. We decided to work on the concept of the tree quantifying O2 release by the plants. The natural environment provides humans with priceless services that we devalue for immediate economic gain. Our project intends to make the user sensitive towards this fact and the entire experience should be thought provoking.
We personified the tree into a balloon. We want people to visualise the volume of oxygen released in a day (about a liter) through the interaction of paying money to the plant. The user has to donate coins in the piggy bank to get a puff of oxygen. We visualised the prototype to be installed near the alley pond tree and the money could be donated to the park for taking care of the plant.
We are still wondering if we could extend the concept of a plant offering all the services in our final project.