My project plan for phase 1 and 2 constructed in Cmap - CmapTools – Home Page Cmap.html
A Vivarium in latin is a “place for life” which is usually used to enclose an area for keeping or raising animals or plants for observation or research.
Open Source Biosphere or Open Source Vivarium?
Thinking about how to market my project as a Vivarium which describes my product more precisely. Although the word biosphere is more likely to get searched online.
The name “Plan It Earth” was also suggested by an interviewee as it allows people to create their own planet with ingredients then experiment with it.
One of the insights from the research was that people would like to share and compare their biospheres. Some sort of social media platform would allow people to compare the prosperity of their biospheres with their friends.
It was found out through workshops that i have run that people learn best through discussing and sharing with others.
The social media website aspect of my project is also how people could share what they have learnt with others easily and discuss why they think the changes may have happened.
This could be a whole range of people from kids in biology class , amateur biologists at home and NASA scientists all sharing what they are learning about natural systems.
A bit like the wikispeed project who used a design method known as Lean software design to solve problems rapidly through collaboration of different groups.
This technique could not only be used to share ideas discovered through the Vivarium/biosphere but to also design more modules and more ways of monitoring the natural systems inside the biosphere through open source sharing.
I could provide the basic module then they could add and develop parts to cater for their needs.
On one of the insight sheets a user mentioned how through watching the snails movement she was able to see when the environment in the biosphere was failing leading to the death of the snails.
From this I came up with the idea of tracking the snails movements to monitor the changes within the biosphere.
The system would consist of the biosphere which would monitor the movement of the snails as well as the temperature, ph and any other important factors. The biosphere would be also monitored by a web cam so that the overall view of the biosphere could be recorded along side the movement of the snails. All data would be fed to a website where the biosphere could be monitored and seen by others all over the world. The device would be open source so people could use it to study biospheres how they wanted and also add to the website and also build new modules and work out different ways of monitoring all life forms within the biosphere.
Snails seemed the easiest to track as I could paint them or stick a tracker on their shell without too much trouble.
I then looked at how I could track/ monitor snail activity electronically:
I found this picture of a Paper wasp with RFID tag attached by the Zoological society of London.
After 1 week I began gathering back the insight forms, some people found it quite challenging to come to any insights. As a result of this they kept the insight sheets for an excess of 2 to 3 weeks before handing them back, which meant that I was waiting a long time for the results.
“We Study the habits of animals as you study your books.” Charles Eastman, Santee Sioux Tribe
“To understand and appreciate the message of an old oak means more for a good life than all the books of man.” Jens Jensen, American Landscape architect
|Questions:||Observations:||MetaphorsOr relates to…||Insights:|
|What draws the shrimp to so readily maintain their environment? Do they perceive the benefits of looking after what they need to survive? Does that mean, as a species, we don’t? Why don’t people understand the struggle that will be faced if we continue to ignore the needs of our surroundings as animals do?||The shrimp seem in harmony with one another as they clean and eat; they’re occasionally connecting in a way that I don’t understand. There’s a completeness about what they’re doing, moving the plants or the rocks about the habitat. They’re more active when they’re warm – move around and interact with one another more. Slowly getting bigger = right kind of environment? Does that mean there aren’t too many shrimp if they can thrive in captivity?||Your momma may have always said that life was like a box of chocolates, but it’s not. Life is like life; life is without structure, it is being aware of the state of your environment, it is harmony with your surroundings.||It’s a curious thing that I keep being drawn back to. It represents life, condensed in a form that I can sit and watch, consider, relate to even I suppose as you can read relationships into the way the shrimp interact – they’re living, they’re going about their business while I’m watching them and it’s so normal. They don’t perceive observation like people do, but they rely on and maintain their environment in much the same way as we might.|
|Lichens effect on rocks in relation to someone sucking all the nutrients and colours out of a slush puppy. Slush puppy or ice lolly looses structure when nutrients are sucked out.||The reason lichens live on rocks is that they are taking the minerals and nutrients out of the rocks to help them grow. By taking the minerals out of the rocks they make the rocks loose their structure and fall apart. Thus making new grit and soil for other plants to grow and colonise.|
|How does a spider live?||Watching a spider taking its time to intricately build its complex web.||Relationship of knowledge to a spider web.||Building a web of knowledge takes patience and time. For a strong web of knowledge, you have to build on from your last strand of knowledge and interweave it with other discoveries from a variety of experiences.|
|How does a slug live?How can I look after a world by myself?What right did I have to create it?||It appears to enjoy climbing- moving up to the top of the jar.
Responsibility!!Lack of knowledge about the processes occurring inside.Tipped out jar (within about 5 hours)
I cannot look after a world-what if anything went wrong?
After a discussion with a biology student, I realised I felt uncomfortable looking after something I didn’t fully understand.
I am not cut out to be God.
|Is it trying to escape? Is it looking for air?||Is the responsibility to look after the earth too much?Suggest having feelings column towards end of questionnaire as some ideas do not fit into pre existing categories|
|Will the water snail prefer the water or the air?||At first they all went to the surface of the water.Greenery then covered the surface and the snails seem to have disappeared.||They must be ninja snails that they can vanish so easily.Later I found out they died due to over population due to too much snails producing too much co2 and not enough oxygen being produced.||The snails at first must have gone to the surface to get more air. If a pond was overpopulated then the snails would go to the surface to get air so you could tell when a pond was over capacity as the snails would be on the top. Nature would deal with this by making the snails more susceptible to birds by being on the surface they get picked off quickly and once the co2 levels had reduced due to reduced snails they would sink down to the bottom to avoid getting eaten.|
|Could the fumes from artificial bogs be used to produce fuel/gas to run cars?Is it just sulphur or methane?||After the snails died the water began to smell very sulphury. After a few weeks it began to clear once I had let the sulphury smell out||It smells like a swamp.||Like bogs when there is not enough oxygen and when it becomes stagnant the bog breaks down slowly releasing smelly fumes. There needs to be less biomass in the system.It also smells like the nutrient mix to reduce pH e.g. make alkali. This suggest the ammonia concentration is too high.|
|When the pH rose 2 shrimp died||The Biosphere and the human body.||Balancing the Ph in the biosphere is important. If it becomes too high damage occurs.The human body is constantly to balancing its pH(homeostasis). If it rises too much then irreversible damage may occur to internal organs. Some of this is done through the absorption of water and the pH concentration of urine. If too high for too long then it causes damage to the kidneys.|
|The larger the container of water the more stable the temperature and pH is.|
|What do the shrimp use their antennae for?The shrimp seem more active when the water is warm heated by the sun or in a warm room.||The shrimp move their antennae a lot.Are they communicating or testing the water?|
|Why are the female shrimp bigger than the male shrimp? And same with reptiles but mammals the males are bigger?|
These feedback forms were gathered after 1-2 weeks of observations of the home made biospheres and observations made outside.
The video expressed the Insights I gathered relating to how one can build a relationship with nature.
The interviewee expressed that he gained a general respect for all living things through being in close proximity with living things in his house.
Through experimenting and the persistence of the creatures to keep on living he gained an added respect for life. Part of the process of building an understanding and respect for living things came through being responsible for their life as well as their death.