Pea Patch


I like community gardening spaces in urban environments, and I think it’s an interesting idea to mesh with technology. In particular, I love the notion of a community building something together, over time, that grows and changes on its own to a certain extent, but is ultimately shaped and manipulated by the gardeners themselves.
pea patch with fence

A community pea patch is a place where neighbors and friends come together to plant, grow, and steward a garden on a plot of land. Each pea patch is unique, and represents a gathering place for the community to participate in a cooperative venture.
pea patch large

For our midterm project, our Physical Computing team (Paul May, Eric Hagan, and myself) is thinking about building a Pea Patch platform using a flat screen monitor that would allow users to “plant” seeds and “grow” vines and vegetables in a virtual garden-like space.

I made a few sketches to begin the design process, and explore the life cycle stages of a pea patch:

Pea Patch Interaction Sketch

Pea Patch interaction designs

Pea Patch Interaction Sketch 2

Pea Patch Interaction Sketch 2

We started research on the idea of a multi-touch interactive surface, and we found a library in Processing called TUIO that allows for the tracking of fiducial markers attached onto physical objects. We printed out some of these fiducial markers, and used a LogitechPro webcam to track their position on a 46′ flat screen monitor that we laid on a table surface. It worked!

flat screen with TUIO trackers

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