For Jarred-In I wanted to make a hydroponic garden with a life support system that would be as glorious as the plants that were contained within it. Hydroponics lets one see the the entire physiology of the plant; roots, leaves and flowers, while also providing a wide range of theatrical possibilities from its various constituent technologies.
In the original drawings and images I generated I was trying to reconcile the aesthetics of carnival rides and other amusement devices with the operations and appearance of life support machines.
When I began experimenting with different hydroponic systems at The Exploratorium I found that all the plants I was trying to grow ended up dying from diseases and pathogens. Through lots of trial and error I learned that by fully enclosing and sheltering the plants I could keep them alive. This took a huge amount of resources and energy for a life process that could get along fine in the dirt right outside the museum’s doors. Encased within a technological cocoon these plants suggested to me a type of space-ship, traveling with great assistance through the caustic environment of a human world.
As I considered this idea of ‘space plants’ I started to feel that the life support pods should be suspended in the air, and that a plant no longer bound to the soil is liberated to explore new ecological niches. Flying alien beings.
There are lots of excellent compact florescent light-bulbs that can be used for hydroponics. These are very bright and provide a center stage for whatever might be grown under them. In these drawings I was trying to figure out how to use these bulbs as a decorative element in the pod design
The final design concept required bringing together many assemblies, subsystems and components in order to create the garden. I used these drawing to think through various material and engineering requirements that would contribute to Jarred-In.