Spirulina.io

An online tracking system for growing spirulina.

Terreform One is a non-profit architecture group that promotes smart design in cities. It is a unique laboratory of specialists with diverse disciplinary backgrounds that explore and advance the larger framework of socio-ecological design. 

During our research fellowships at Terreform One, my research partner, Regina Flores Mir, and I developed Spirulina.io. Spirulina.io was designed for urban families to grow food and provide for their daily nutritional needs. Spirulina.io was broken down into two areas - 1) a growing system that cultivates large amounts of Spirulina in an enclosed environment, 2) an online tracking platform that can relay specific information about the health and growing data of the Spirulina directly to a user’s smart-phone and integrate into the "Internet of Plants" by providing a public and free API. 

Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that can be consumed by humans and other animals. It has densely packed nutrients; protein makes over 60% of the dry body weight and it has all 9 essential amino acids that a human body needs. With optimal conditions, the Spirulina can double every 24-48 hours. It has a photosynthetic conversion rate of 8 to 10%, compared to only 3% in crop plants such as soybeans. It is considered one of the fastest reproduced protein sources in the world.

For the growing system, we set up different monitored experiments to find out the optimal environment for growing Spirulina. We compared the growth rate with various variables (light intensity, oxygen levels, humidity, acidity). Once we had a concrete understanding on how to cultivate Spirulina, we built our first physical prototype using an Arduino Uno, a Wifi Shield, a series of environmental sensors (pH, RGB, temperature, and humidity). 

I also designed and produced an interactive prototype for the online tracking system. I came up screen-flows, wireframes and final UI mocks through references from other precedents of plant growing systems and multiple rounds of iterations.

For more documentation for the growing system, please visit my post on Terreform One website. See below for the UX and UI design for the tracking app.

spirulina-wiresspirulina-wires
Wireframes.
screenflow-2screenflow-2
A snapshot of the screen-flow.
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Final mock-ups.