2014 – Seedling Growing System

urban ag / industrial design / UJ / appropriate technology / irrigation / small-scale farming / seedling growing

The Design of a Seedling Growing System for Small-scale Urban Farmers in Soweto

Jomari Budricks, BTech Industrial Design, 2014.
Supervised by Angus D. Campbell & Dr. Naudé Malan

Provisional Patent: 2014/08658: A SEEDLING GROWING SYSTEM

This project focused on the design of seedling growing system for small-scale urban farming. The design and research was based on the problem that farmers struggle with growing seedlings as a result of lack of resources and technology that is specific to their needs. Using participatory design methods a product was designed that is both fully functioning and is suited to the participants. The design process explored how to incorporate all design considerations such as modularity, portability, protection against pests and extreme weather and easy watering into one complete, well-functioning system. The design and research was consistently undertaken with the active involvement of participants throughout the process. This refers to the research methodology of Participatory Action Research where designers design with participants rather than designing for participants. This study formed part of the broader Izindaba Zokudla project which aims at uncovering issues surrounding small-scale urban farming in Soweto through discussions and conversations with actively involved participants.

The final dissertation is available for download here (2.5Mb)
Jomari’s blog which she authored during the field work of the project can be accessed here


This work is based on the research supported in part by the NRF for the Thuthuka grants held by Angus D. Campbell titled Designing Development: An Exploration of Technology Innovation by Small-scale Urban Farmers in Johannesburg and by Dr. Naudé Malan titled Innovation in the Soweto Food System: Engaging with Soweto Agriculture. Any opinion, finding and conclusion or recommendation expressed in this material is that of the authors and the NRF does not accept any liability in this regard.