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I've met them in person a few times while working for a magazine that documented solutions in resource-constrained (not necessarily poor) environments.

IIRC, many of these projects came from actual farmers, not design students.

There's a related project, the Greenhorns [0] working to recruit new, young farmers and support them as they get going - part of that is cutting equipment and labor costs. I chatted a couple of farmers who were using the produce washers built from old washing machines.

Is it a solution for large-scale industrial farming? No. But from hobby farmers up to ones doing a 50-100 share CSA model, it makes a lot of sense and reduces barriers to entry.




> IIRC, many of these projects came from actual farmers, not design students.

As a designer, if there is one thing that pisses me off about my own field, it is that design students often are not encouraged enough to co-create with real stake-holders and end up just throwing ungrounded high-concept nonsense out there.


The Greenhorns and National Young Farmers Association helped organize a Farm Hack event at RISD in 2012 where they brought together design students and farmers. Here's a link to the forum where a lot of the work was posted http://farmhack.org/forums/farm-hack-rhode-island-2012-risd


It hurts the field as a whole - when impossible-to-build CG renders and endless piles of pie-in-the-sky Post-Its becomes synonymous with 'design' it makes it that much harder to convince organizations to put resources behind including design in their planning and production.





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