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Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby ming_15 » Dec 03, 2008 2:05 pm

evepet wrote:I'm a plant lover so would enjoy this concept and be more than willing to donate some personal time to looking after my share of the living wall project. But I'm also an ex-personnel exec so I'd like to point out a couple of considerations....

....Also remember that drafts coming from airconditionning and heating vents and entranceways could harm plants. This would have to be part of the original planning of where to put the walls, and the type of plants selected. Best left in the hands of somebody who knows plants well, like an outside professional.


haha since everyone says I should leave the plants to professional hands... that will be kept in mind, but for now I will continue to investigate on things that could make the interaction of the employee and plants be more fun or interesting.

I was thinking maybe some sort of fun guerrilla-ish office gardening so poissbly people would engage more and have a more relaxing environment.

Yes, the disagreement of the employee would be a great problem. Perhaps it could be that the plant grows on one side but not on the other maybe? Just a thought.

Thanks for you input!

Ming
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby Laura » Dec 03, 2008 2:11 pm

Most people working in the enviroment you are discribing have heavy workloads and tight deadlines and or quotas. . . tending plants is not always a pleasing thing . . . and adding another chore may be loading more on to an already overworked and stressed employee.

Having a small plant on your desk at work may be alright but looking after an entire wall is a job.
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby evepet » Dec 03, 2008 2:38 pm

I was thinking maybe some sort of fun guerrilla-ish office gardening so poissbly people would engage more and have a more relaxing environment.


Ming, when do you envision this 'office gardening' happening? A few employers might be willing to give employees a few minutes a day to look after the plants. But others won't. Instead they'll expect the employees to do the daily plant watering, pruning, etc. on their personal time. And all employees won't do that. Or perhaps they'll do it at first when the whole idea is new and interesting, then they'll gradually lose interest. And the plants will suffer. And people will complain. And somebody will head to the Personnel office with a complaint..... :roll: Also employees 'come and go' and the employer will still have their living wall requiring regular care and maintenance. If I owned the company, I'd only do this if a professional gardening was hired to help in planning, implementingn and maintaining it. They then would be accountable for it, just like any service purchased. That degree of accountability would be impossible if the project was dealt with as a employee 'gardening project'. In that scenario I wouldn't want to get involved in it.
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby ming_15 » Dec 03, 2008 3:36 pm

evepet wrote:
I was thinking maybe some sort of fun guerrilla-ish office gardening so poissbly people would engage more and have a more relaxing environment.


Ming, when do you envision this 'office gardening' happening? A few employers might be willing to give employees a few minutes a day to look after the plants. But others won't. Instead they'll expect the employees to do the daily plant watering, pruning, etc. on their personal time. And all employees won't do that. Or perhaps they'll do it at first when the whole idea is new and interesting, then they'll gradually lose interest. And the plants will suffer. And people will complain. And somebody will head to the Personnel office with a complaint..... :roll: Also employees 'come and go' and the employer will still have their living wall requiring regular care and maintenance. If I owned the company, I'd only do this if a professional gardening was hired to help in planning, implementingn and maintaining it. They then would be accountable for it, just like any service purchased. That degree of accountability would be impossible if the project was dealt with as a employee 'gardening project'. In that scenario I wouldn't want to get involved in it.


hmmm..... well right now i'm just trying to as much response as possible... this is not the final product yet.... however you guys might be right about hiring professionals or better yet would be a service that comes with the product, who knows... but this right now is my concept
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby bluebird » Dec 03, 2008 3:38 pm

Well, I'm trying to design it as low level care for the workers. So that would mean just watering when needed and they would be informed when the water level is too low. I'd say refilling the water would be 3 minutes or so, but that depends on the water access, which is another problem.


One of the biggest challenges in our industry has been to dispel the notion that taking care of plants indoors involves just putting some water on them-lol. Most plant care service technicians today are certified professionals who have learned their craft through hands on study along with specifically designed courses. Even in self watering systems, someone still has to decide the watering schedule and has to have an understanding of the individual needs of the plants to make that assessment. "one size does not fit all"


As for the duty, I thought it as better looking and living plants = more bonus and dead plants = no bonus, but that was just a joke :lol:


lol...for sure. My yikes vision is one person on side taking good care of their little plant wall while the other side is being neglected by that caregiver...and the bugs and fungus from the neglected plants attacking the other wall of plants. I'm picturing some bad vibes happening in the office-lol.

The oasis idea seems pretty good, but the cubicle space I am talking about could be personalized so everyone would have a different one.

Have you considered possible water damage? Who's insurance is going to cover that? A professional company comes with their own insurance......

However, I'm not sure if there are lounges or kitchens in every office. The point is that I'm trying to make people care for the plants, and yes I know it's hard to change people's behavior and likes and dislikes. I will keep the shared space oasis in mind.


That IS the biggest problem with your idea though. While most office workers completely enjoy being surrounded by healthy plants, most are going to protest if they are told they are going to be responsible for taking care of them. Remember, many office workers belong to unions or have contracts and you can't suddenly just rewrite those responsibilities.

In the past, when we've lost a service contract due to financial cutbacks in a company and the people are instructed to take care of the own plant we have found a year later or so the company calls us back to resume our duties and the majority of plants must then be replaced as they are beyond dead. Good for us though, as we get to make the sale over again-lol


As you said earlier that you have interior landscaping experience, could you give me some pointers as to what kinds of plants are good and what plants to avoid?


That is where the professional comes in. There is no way I would suggest a plant without first making a site visit to determine the available light and growing conditions for the plant etc. That said, our company did not do living walls, so my suggestion is to contact a company that has. They have very specific needs.


I did find a site that showed plants that remove pollutants http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/ ... /clean.htm and one that shows required light level http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1450.htm

Could you explain a little about the mini-oasis spots? How did that work out in the end?


Each area had several large planters grouped together with a seating arrangement. Generally there was one large specimen plant, a Kentia Palm or Ficus or Draceana and then a low bushy planting and some trailing plants such as pothos or ivies. Some had a flowering program in which flowering plants were rotated throughout the year...bromeliads, kalanchoe, points at Christmas etc. Often you would see an office worker sitting on the bench under the palm working on their laptop. They would even use these oasis spots for short meetings. It worked out well. The company eventually moved and expanded the whole idea to create a huge area that included full sized indoor trees where office workers could meet and relax in a tropical setting. And, no worry about the care of the plants and trees as that was left to the service provider.

Thank you for the very useful information!

Ming

Happy to help and hope the information fine tunes the good track you are on.

Carol
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby ming_15 » Dec 03, 2008 4:02 pm

bluebird wrote:Happy to help and hope the information fine tunes the good track you are on.

Carol


Thanks Carol for this very very useful information.

Well I understand that it is different for every environment.... but would it be unreasonable to say that only fluorescent lights are available so then it possibly could work in different environments?

OK maybe the care of the plants can be done by professionals, but I still want to see what kind of interactions that an employee can have with the plants...

Plus as a student.... i think it's quite hard for me to actually visit a company so i'm really relying on what some office workers tell me :cry:
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby evepet » Dec 03, 2008 4:11 pm

Ming, you've commented that:
I was thinking maybe some sort of fun guerrilla-ish office gardening so poissbly people would engage more and have a more relaxing environment

and,
but I still want to see what kind of interactions that an employee can have with the plants...


In both of these comments you're talking about wanting to see employees 'interacting' and 'engaging more' with plants. Which is fine. But most employees already have a full work day. If your 'interaction' and 'engaging' involves anything beyond a basic enjoyment of the plant life in their work environment (ie if it includes any maintenance or gardening chores) it's going to interfere with their normal duties. Which won't keep management very happy. Just an observation.
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby Katherine » Dec 03, 2008 5:09 pm

As an office worker, at home, tho... I like the idea but have to say its impractical for a number of reasons. Plants and computers tend to not go together. Also, the reason we have cubical walls is to deaden sound and provide as much privacy as possible. As a plant lover, i dont think a structure with plants on it is going to do that. Or plants being dense enough to create individual walls between workers. I cant see how that will function unless they take up a LOT of space. A philodendron just does not cut it when it comes to blocking out some of the personal noise and distractions in an office. Plants add a lot, peace, feeling of life being around, they are undoubtedly very important. But as walls between people in a small open space, i would like to see what bluebird might suggest could actually work. Your would probably have to have a wall with plants growing up it. Why not just have a wall. Walls can actually have space thats used for bulletins, photographs, notes, charts etc. A nice plant too? Thats great but its not the same thing.

Also what manager would want to invest all that money and space, maintenance and time on something that possibly half the population wont want. A lot of people actually dislike houseplants. (NOt me, of course) I hate to be discouraging, but you did ask what we think.

ke
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby ming_15 » Dec 03, 2008 6:19 pm

evepet wrote:In both of these comments you're talking about wanting to see employees 'interacting' and 'engaging more' with plants. Which is fine. But most employees already have a full work day. If your 'interaction' and 'engaging' involves anything beyond a basic enjoyment of the plant life in their work environment (ie if it includes any maintenance or gardening chores) it's going to interfere with their normal duties. Which won't keep management very happy. Just an observation.


That's just something in my mind that I "wish" to happen.... if reality permit :| ... if not, yes i agree that leaving the plants to professional hands would be best

But yes the "ideal" thing would be have some sort of interaction
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Re: Thesis Project on Indoor Gardening.... Please Comment

Postby ming_15 » Dec 03, 2008 6:29 pm

Katherine wrote:As an office worker, at home, tho... I like the idea but have to say its impractical for a number of reasons. Plants and computers tend to not go together. Also, the reason we have cubical walls is to deaden sound and provide as much privacy as possible. As a plant lover, i dont think a structure with plants on it is going to do that. Or plants being dense enough to create individual walls between workers. I cant see how that will function unless they take up a LOT of space. A philodendron just does not cut it when it comes to blocking out some of the personal noise and distractions in an office. Plants add a lot, peace, feeling of life being around, they are undoubtedly very important. But as walls between people in a small open space, i would like to see what bluebird might suggest could actually work. Your would probably have to have a wall with plants growing up it. Why not just have a wall. Walls can actually have space thats used for bulletins, photographs, notes, charts etc. A nice plant too? Thats great but its not the same thing.

Also what manager would want to invest all that money and space, maintenance and time on something that possibly half the population wont want. A lot of people actually dislike houseplants. (NOt me, of course) I hate to be discouraging, but you did ask what we think.

ke


Well I would argue that there are also people that don't like the cubicle walls. Yes it does give more privacy, but in the same time reduces the bond between the team and losing teamwork...

I understand where you are coming from and I know that too, but just is it possible to work around that? and put some innovation?? well that's really what my program is about anyways... sort of... :lol:

But yeah I might actually end up with a green space instead of all the cubicle walls... but who knows.... maybe during christmas i will come up with some crazy idea that will just work for this environment.... my main challenge now is the implementation of the it and where will it go

But thanks for your comments and please don't hold back.... more criticism = more improvement and more improvement = better results

Ming
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