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Aquaponics Squad

About Us

We're the Aquaponics Squad, a group of passionate and hard-working girls who work well with each other. We want to make a difference, and we strive towards improving ourselves every day.

Recent comments on our work:

Winnie Zhao · Aquaponics Squad

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Sep 21
We hope you had fun with this activity! Did your team learn anything from this activity about team work or problem solving? The persistence and creativity you used for this activity will serve you well in designing a special aquaponics system to help your users.
Sep 21
Sep 21
10
8Welcome to DT Philly! We're delighted that you are joining us this year, and we hope you have fun using design thinking to solve a problem. Thanks for submitting an introduction to your team, we can't wait to see what you do.
Sep 21
Sep 24
1
Sep 28
10
8Nice job! We especially enjoyed your ideas for the parachute phone and the metal fall protector--and the great sketches you made to explain those ideas. Being able to express your ideas visually is a great design skill. Just as you paid attention to your own needs and preferences in designing your phonen cases, you'll want to pay attention to the needs and preferences of other people--the ones you're trying to help--when you create your DT Philly design. The better you understand the audience for your project, the better your solution will be!
Oct 19
20
Is it possible you submitted your work under the wrong assignment? Mini design sprints require DT Philly staff to come in and do the activity with you, so we're thinking you may have made a mistake in submitting this picture under this activity. Dan Brown visited you for Designers in Schools week, which was a special event we held. We didn't give you any assignments for Designers in Schools week...it was just an opportunity to meet and learn from a professional designer. Please let us know if you need help with anything!
Oct 5
Oct 5
Oct 5
10
8Nicely done--this is a well-written question about an interesting idea. We can't wait to see what you learn during your research. It will be very important for you to understand the needs and concerns of your target audience before creating your system, so we encourage you to take the time to do good research. Then you will know what problems your system needs to solve in order to be a desirable solution for those people!
Oct 12
10
8Mr. Johnson sounds like a great resource for this project. Does he have an aquaponics system in his class that you could observe? These are good plans for how to learn about the workings of aquaponics, but you want to be sure that you talk to your user group as well. Empathizing with the people who will be using your system will be very important in creating a solution that works for them. As you start talking to people to find out more about the wants and needs of your target audience, try to find out as much as you can about the people who show the most interest. If they don't represent the people you thought you were designing your system for you may realize your market is a bit different than who you first thought it would be. Or maybe it means you just need to dig a bit deeper with the people you originally set out to help and make sure your idea is solving problems in ways that make sense to them. Some things you might want to learn about the people you hope to design for include: how much produce they eat at home now, what they currently do to get fresh produce (is it easy or hard to get?), how much interest there is in growing their own produce, and how much space people have at home for growing their own produce. It might also be interesting to see what you can learn about growing cycles and quantities so you can try to figure out how much time and how much space you need to grow enough food for an individual or a family.
Nov 2
20
16Nice work on your user profiles! Understanding your users' needs and the challenges they face will help you come up with creative solution ideas that work for many people. When you start working on brainstorming and prototyping solution ideas, check back with these user profiles to make sure your ideas are meeting the needs (for example, limited time, space, funds, mobility, etc.) you identified here.
Oct 19
Oct 19
Were you surprised to see how many things changed? It's funny how we sometimes don't see things that are right in front of us. Remember this and be alert when you're doing your project research. Hover over the Embrace Badge on your team page to learn how noticing things helped one design team create an innovative medical device!
Oct 19
10
8We're curious what kind of user research you conducted? Did you talk to any people who you would be designing for -- people living in urban areas, people who eat a lot of fast food or convenience foot, people who don't have space for raised beds or a container garden? Getting a broad understanding of issues using the internet or similar sources is a fine way to familiarize yourself with issues, but talking to real people about their needs, goals, and concerns is a a better way to learn how you can help a particular group of people. Did you learn anything surprising during your first stage of research? Since the cost of food seems to be very central to your problem, how do you plan on making a system that will provide a cheap and convenient alternative to fast food? The system itself will have to be very affordable to buy/build/maintain, and you'd have to figure out what foods people could grow that would offer an attractive alternative to the things they are buying now. If you need help figuring out how to tacked your research, let us know! We can't wait to see what you learn about the people you are designing for.
Nov 2
10
8It sounds like you've uncovered another layer to the problem -- not only that people buy fast food so often because it's cheap and available, but also because they prefer the taste of it. Changing people's habits and preferences can be difficult...how can you address this with an aquaponics system or other solution? Do people who live in city apartments or houses and eat fast food (or an otherwise unhealthy diet) have the know-how, patience, space, money, and interest in having an aquaponics system at home? What could they grow that would replace what they buy from fast food restaurants? How much space and time would they need to grow enough food for one person? Or a family? What things would make the most sense to grow? Would it cost them more or less than they currently spend? These are some things you might want to learn about if you want to design an aquaponics system that is as affordable and desirable as fast food options. Did you get the chance to talk to any real people in the second stage of your research--the people you would want to use your system? What would attract them to using the system you want to design? It's possible that the people you want to help don't have much experience with growing and cooking fresh food. If you found that to be true, would your solution include some form of education on how to grow plants? There are so many things to learn about for an ambitious project like this!
Nov 9
10
8Thank you for completing this year's Scavenver Hunt. You got 5 of the 6 answers correct--nice work! We're not sure what video you watched about carpal tunnel, but the videos we made for you to introduce each stage of your design process are about a student design team that is working on a library project (links to the videos are available in your assignment list). We will let Mr. Ferrarelli know you are interested in his thoughts on your project and ask him to email Mrs. McAdams. Don't forget to check the notices section (the pink box at the top of your TEAM page, not the section of homepage that shows tweets) from time to time and read the new announcements. We left you a few questionnaires that we'd love to have you answer if you can!
Dec 7
20
16Thanks for taking the time to reflect on some of the assumptions your team made at the initial stages of your project. Did your team assume at first that there was only one way to construct an aquaponics system? Remember that you when you started your project, you committed to designing a solution to a problem that affected a certain group of people—your users. What did you learn about their needs, questions, hopes, and concerns that will inform the design of your aquaponics system? Collaborating and sharing ideas after conducting thorough research will lead you to the most comprehensive solution for your user group (the specific people you're designing for). You may want to think about talking to the people you're designing this system for. If you don't, you may make another logical leap in assuming what their needs, wants and restrictions are.
Nov 16
Nov 16
Nov 16
10
8Thank you for sharing clear pictures of your work with us. If we remember correctly, we talked during one of our visits about whether your goal was to help city residents eat a more healthy diet (in which case your solution might end up focusing on something other than aquaponics) or whether your goal was to create an aquaponics system for a specific audience. It sounded like you wanted to create an aquaponics system that works well for a specific group of people. If that's the case, then some of what you want to research will be around the needs of those people. Some questions that would be worth exploring include: What kind of resource limitations do they have? Space limitations? Concerns about using such a system? What would motivate them to want an aquaponics system? How would they learn to use it? Where would they get the seeds (or plants?) they need? How do they know what to plant? Understanding the needs of the people you want to create this system for will help you decide what to brainstorm around (some of those themes might include affordability, ease of assembly or use, education, etc.).
Nov 30
10
8These are all good observations about the benefits of aquaponics and the components you need for an aquaponics system, but it might be more helpful to brainstorm around ways to make aquaponics accessible to and desirable for the population you want to help--people who live in urban areas and don't have healthy diets. What do you know about the homes your users live in, their eating habits, their goals, and the resources they have to invest in something like aquaponics? Did your research tell you what a typical system costs, how much space it takes up, and how much work it takes? And did your research tell you whether your users have the time, the space, the knowledge, and the money to have an aquaponics system? If not, is there an alternative to an aquaponics system that would still help you achieve your goals but be easier for your users to afford and to operate? Or are there ways you can adapt a traditional aquaponics system to work for your users? We think you might want to do some brainstorming around some additional topics, such as: How do we make it affordable for our users to grow their own produce? How do we convince (educate/motivate) our users to try aquaponics (or another approach to growing healthy food)? How do we create an aquaponics (or similar) system that works in small spaces (or whatever other physical limits your users have in their homes)? How do we support our users in learning and adopting new habits around healthy eating? Give us a call if you need help with this!
Dec 21
20
16We hope you had fun looking at these terrible designs! Do these "terrible" ideas you submitted represent problems you anticipate your users--the people you are designing this plant-growing system for--will have? How could you solve these problems? Say one of your users is a 29-year old single mother of two children who lives in a small two-bedroom apartment and works two part-time jobs to make ends meet. How do you make your fresh food growing system work for her? How do you make it affordable? Easy to understand and maintain? Small enough to work in her space? How do you educate that family about how to grow vegetables? And make it easy for them to get the things they need to keep the system going? Would it be easier if they didn't have to take care of the fish?
Dec 7
Dec 7
Dec 14
10
8This sounds like a good research plan for educating yourselves about aquaponics. You told us you wanted to design a system for people who live in urban areas, don't have room for traditional garden, and eat too much fast food or junk food. So if that is your project, your design concept sketches should outline what THAT system looks like. How compact can it be so it doesn't take up too much space in a small rowhouse or apartment? How will you make it inexpensive, so it is affordable for people? If your audience consists of people who don't garden, how will you educate them about how to use the system? What things can you do to make your version of an aquaponics system really easy to assemble and operate? Will you create a kit that includes things like the fish, the fish food, seeds or sprouted plants (we're not sure what you start with)? Will you offer technical assistance? Maybe even recipes to go with the produce they will grow? If there is anything about a traditional aquaponics system that will be particularly difficult for your audience to use or maintain, how can you adapt your design to eliminate that challenge?
Dec 21
10
8
Jan 11
20
16We hope you found these designs as delightful as we did! Even small changes can make a design more thoughtful, enjoyable, or convenient, and you came up with some good ideas for making your system work better for your audience. Can you actually incorporate any of these into your prototype? Even if you can't install a working sensor, you could use that same thinking to create a schedule of text reminders about predictable maintenance tasks like feeding the fish. Incorporating reusable materials will not only help the environment but might also keep costs down for your users, which is something they surely would appreciate. Keep thinking about how to make your prototype better for the people who will actually use it!
Jan 4
Jan 4
Jan 4
10
8It looks like all of your tests will be taking place in the same location...is this location like the one your users would use the system in? How will you get feedback from your user group on these tests? Will you be having other people care for the plants so that they can learn how to?
Jan 11
10
8Thanks for sharing what you learned from your first test! Did this change the direction or focus of your design at all? Interacting with those who will use your design is the best way to learn about how it can be improved. How will you make people feel secure about investing in one of your aquaponics systems?
Jan 18
10
8
Jan 25
20
16Thanks for giving some shoutouts to another design team! You can learn a lot from seeing how other people approach problems and work through them, just as you can learn a lot from seeing how people outside your team understand your work. For this reason, knowing how to give feedback and receive feedback are important skills to develop.
Jan 25
Jan 28
10
Feb 4
10
Feb 4
20

Badges

Start-Up: Nike Grind Badge

Congratulations on your creative problem solving—an essential skill for every designer!  Innovations and break-through moments come when you think outside the box, like Nike did when they began recycling worn-out shoes to reduce the company's environmental impact.  The recycled shoes were ground up and used to create springy surfaces for athletic facilities.  For example, Sacramento Kings fans donated their sneakers to be used in constructing the team's new practice court.  Not content to stop there, Nike keeps developing new applications for this innovative product, and recycled material from Nike Grind is now used in 71% of the company's footwear and apparel!

Empathize: Hub of Hope Badge

Thanks for taking a walk in someone else's shoes.  Designers empathize to understand the needs of the people they want to help, just as SEPTA did when they agreed to collaborate with other agencies to serve homeless people where they already congregate...at Suburban Station.  Instead of kicking the homeless out, the agencies worked together to open the Hub of Hope, a site that functions as a daytime living room for homeless individuals, where they can socialize, get a meal, shower, do laundry, and access a variety of health and social services in a safe and welcoming setting.

Define: Embrace Badge

Nice work using your powers of perception!  Good designers keep their eyes and minds open so they don't miss key insights...just as four Stanford students did while creating a low-cost baby incubator for developing countries.  To learn more about the problem, team member Linus Liang traveled to Nepal.  His "aha" moment came when he discovered that hospital incubators often went unused because mothers couldn’t get to, or stay at, the hospital.  The team realized they had to create something that could be used easily and affordably in homes, as well as in hospitals.  The team kept researching and learning throughout their design process to make sure their product met the needs of the people they wanted to help.  Since 2011 their solution—the Embrace Incubator—has helped over 200,000 babies in 20 countries.

Ideate: 40/4 Chair Badge

Way to get creative!  It's not always easy to see things with new eyes, and sometimes ingenious design is hidden right in front of you.  When was the last time you gave any thought to the humble stacking chair?  Designer David Rowland spent 8 years of his own time designing a chair that could be compactly stacked to fit the greatest number of chairs in the smallest amount of space.  He made 32 full-scale models in a quest to achieve the best form and greatest comfort, and he was rejected many times when he tried to license his final design for a chair that could be stacked 40 high at a height of just 4 feet.  But he persisted, and today his 40/4 chair is the winner of numerous awards, is showcased in museums around the world, and is a commercial success.  8 million and counting have been sold since 1964!

Prototype: Kenji Ekuan Badge

Well done!  Prototyping takes patience and persistence, as Kenji Ekuan demonstrated when he and his team spent three years designing the elegant, tear-drop shaped Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.  Mr. Ekuan, an award-winning designer who also worked on the Yamaha VMAX motorcycle and Japan’s bullet trains, is said to have tested over 100 prototypes before finalizing the design of the innovative and dripless two-sided spout—a design which works so well it hasn't been altered since it was introduced in 1961!

Test: MWOBS Badge

Now you know...testing's not just for school!  Designers know it's important to put their prototypes through rigorous real-world tests, which is why people who design products to function in extreme outdoor environments go to the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, where the conditions are equivalent to what you’d encounter in Antarctica and the polar regions!  Clothing, experimental robots, and tents are just a few of the products to test their mettle against the mountain!

DT Philly Showcase: Es Devlin Badge

Hooray—you've made it to the final stage of DT Philly, and it’s time to think about how you’ll tell the story of your design project.  Take a page from the playbook of renowned set designer Es Devlin and consider your presentation from the perspective of the audience.  How will they see, hear, and experience your story?  Devlin, who has designed sets for Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Rihanna, as well as for fashion shows, plays, operas, and ballets, thinks about the spirit of the performance and the experience the audience will share.  How will you bring your story to life and connect with your audience?

Collaborator Badge 0 of 4

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