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GALLERY 2013

visual communication practice

Urban Gardening Kit

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Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The government would need to take drastic measures to instantly resolve the current world food hunger crisis. Unfortunately most governments are reticent to regulate large and powerful corporations and protect the consumer.
Citizens must therefore mobilize to take some control back over the foods they consume, how it is produced and their right to nutrition. They must “…reclaim their right to nutrition…” (Shiava 200 pg.3) to focus on taking smaller steps to lead to a large solution. The “Urban Garden” package is a jump-start gardening kit focusing on the global food issue on an urban scale. Citizens growing their own vegetables remove the reliance on large corporations for produce and retains to a greater extent the quality of that produce. Being successful in this would then naturally lead to people making other small changes in their life once they realise the impact of growing their own produce. Motivating citizens to take greater ownership of the state of their environment and their personal wellbeing will have a domino effect upon other areas they may look to alter for better outcomes for their community and country.
These could include watching water usage and using less electricity, just small changes that if everyone is involved, lead to large scale change.
The booklet includes a rundown on the current global food issue, an introduction to urban gardening, an easy to follow instruction guide on how to plant vegetables and finally a packet of seeds. Initially, three different vegetables would be offered, tomatos, silverbeet and zucchini. Research would indicate that people’s fear of failure and sense that they are only one person and cannot deliver a significant impact on the global food crisis as reasons we avoid starting our own projects such as a vegetable patch. For this reason, the Urban Garden booklet has a simplified design style, light colours and a super simplified instruction guide on how to plant and care for vegetables. Breaking the process into simple steps offers people support in beginning what can otherwise seem an overwhelming project. To give people a step plan guide will provide greater results that merely providing seeds and suggesting a vegetable garden be established.
A correlating Facebook page can be found where recent news concerning the global food crisis can be found. Participants are also encouraged to post images online of their vegetable patch. This allows people to simply view the Facebook page and see other people’s attempts, resulting in people feeling part of a community and growing vegetables themselves. Having a Facebook page creates a platform that reassures people that they are not alone in what they are doing, it enables communication between participants and the reassurance that they are part of a something on a much larger scale and therefore making real change. The Facebook page with its continuous updates will keep people motivated and inspired to keep on making a positive change.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

The urban garden booklet uses participative communication to encourage people to get involved in a global issue. People are given the option to make a small contribution resulting in massive change on a global scale. Citizens would plant their vegetables, go online and post images of their success, then comment and view other people’s vegetable patches. The number of people involved would be easily monitored through the activity and likes on the Facebook page. Socially responsive social communication was another technique used as the booklet promotes a social issue.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

The Urban Garden package is based on a simple idea. To make change on an international scale, you need to start small and work your way up. The booklet is designed to initially create a city where a strong percentage of the population follows the urban garden idea and plants vegetables and fruits in their back yard. This city would then be referred to as a ‘model city,’ a city setting the pace in sustainable growing. The next step would be for surrounding cities to follow this model, resulting in a model state, and eventually a model country. A country non reliant on corporations to deliver fruit and vegetables, and has the majority of citizens growing their own food. The final step would be for other countries to see what we have done in Australia and adopt the same process in their country.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

Before this project I had no idea how concerning and real the threat to our food supply is. Researching for the project showed me the severity of the situation we are in and from that it has encourage me to make small changes such as growing my own vegetables and buying ingredients from markets to support local farmers.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

The Urban Garden booklet is a good communication work as it is clear and concise through the use of simplified text, easy to read typography, limited colour pallet and a simple design layout. It is socially responsive and meaningful as it focuses on making a positive difference towards a global issue. The booklet allows people to physically participate in making a change and includes a linked Facebook site where people can follow progress of the power of mobilizing the citizens of a community to fight against the global food crisis.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

Urban Garden booklets would be inserted into the local paper that is delivered to every suburb. As this is a non profit exercise and is a service to the community an approach would be made to the publisher to have it inserted at no cost, with other inserts that are made each week. This simple but effective distribution method allows for every household to receive a package to get their garden started. By engaging the local community newspapers their support would also be sought to write a story and follow the progress of the endeavor. The only drawback would be the cost of purchasing seeds for each booklet. This is where a government grant or a philanthropic donation would fund the distribution of the booklet.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

No


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Entry details

Title

Urban Gardening Kit


Headline

Urban Gardening Kit


Concept author(s)

Ben Miller


Concept author year(s) of birth

24/02/1993


Concept author(s) contribution

Everything


Country

Australia


Designer(s)

Benjamin Miller


Designer(s) year(s) of birth

24/02/1993


Designer(s) contribution

Everything


Country

Australia


Competition category

visual communication practice


Competition subcategory

static


Competition field

academic


Competition subfield

student


Subfield description

Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Bachelors of Graphic Design