THEUNIS SNYMAN ID4
Saving Up for the Summer!
A project about making
rainharvesting visible. A
story about conservation
and the struggle between
the tap and the clouds!
Table of contents
1. My Design Philosophy
2. Problem identification
3. Grad Direction
4. Opportunity spaces
7. Research and findings
8. Recommendations to Emily Carr
9. Bosa Properties Brief.
10. Modelling and early prototyping
11. A brush with Self watering planters
12. BOSA Proposal denied
13. Cultivate is Born
14. Thesis Project #2 Queensbury
16. Research Biomimicry
18. Analysis of precedents
19. Design intentions
22. Sketch models
23. Model analysis
25. 3d iteration
28. Scale models wings
29. Wing iterations and analysis
30. Prototyping of parts
31. Manufacturing processes
32. Testing of prototype
What does design mean
To me design is an act of problem solving. My father is a journeyman auto
electrisian and has a great saying that goes something like this “if it doesnt fit,
modify it.” It is with this philosophy he left me as someone who continiously
solve problems from a micro level and moving on to bigger problems a little at
a time. I believe anyone who has altered or reconfigured a problem to solve it
is a designer by definition. Design is just an act of modification. The alternative
to design is invent in which you see a need no else has and modify materials to
make something no one has ever seen. I live between these two ideas. I believe
that I am just a generalist trying to focus on something tangible. A “jack of all”
trying to find something to be better at than other things
Why am I here?
My Goals with this degree has been first and foremost to finish something
I started and prove to myself that I can do it. I will not work as an industrial
designer but as a problem solver. I will be trying to find bigger problems to solve
and working toward a sustainable life for myself and if I am very lucky, for others
Increasing Urban Agriculture
demand for water in the city
• Water is abundant in the winter in Vancouver but in the summer there
is about a month or so that it doesn rain. It is only COMMON sense that
we should be saving the water and conserving it for growing gardens
and vegetable and save the energy intensive , chlorinated and treated
drinking water. The Germans must be laughing at us when they watch us
• The city engineering struggles with the sheer volume of the rain and
needs all the help they can get in delaying water to go in the storm
sewers. Outfalls overflow and
• Rainharvesters installed on downspouts can reduce the amount of water
that goes into the stormsewers during rainstorms.
We waste too much water in this country.
Direction Areas of interest.
I was interested in looking at water conservation and making the act of
rainharvesting more visible and interseting by designing a capturing device that
wil ask a question and raise awarenes through interseting conversations.
My initial direction was to look at Emily Carr university water usage and define
strategies to reduce the use. Areas were identified but due to new campus
investigations and billing procedures the project was shortlived.
My next direction was working with the CULTIVATE group to respond to an
arts call for the BOSA development group. We spent a month and a half
working on the proposal to design and build the space. The space was to
include a rainharvesting element and this was where my direction was heading.
Unfortunately we did not win the bid and the Project was cancelled. As Cultivate
we decided to proceed and find a space where we can still build a garden and
implement all of the planning we had previously made.
During the Cultivate collaborative I started looking at the urban agriculture
platform and community Gardens to look at how they are using water in their
context. I am now actively involved in the building of a sharing garden in
North Vancouver in which the RAINSCAPE will live. I am the designer for the
rainharvesting system and is part of the fundraising initiative for the space.
Vancouver’s Precipitation over the last year
Month of the year preceding December 8, 2012
Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Jan
With the rainfall so high in BC there is a clear opportunity to conserve water
during the rainy season and use it for the dry months to irrigate any food gardens
it might want to grow. Rainwater is pure and chemical free and there no additives
in it that would leach into the food it grows
Raincollection has several problems still and there are several legislative issues
Abundance of rain
Gardens Why Rainharvesting Conserving can be
This is water from the bathtub, rigged to go to a hose that will soak the garden,
my mom is watering the gardenfrom that hose. We her in Vancouver just have
to plug into the downspout to ge acces to this abundant resource to save for the
summer, wether you are an occasional gardener or a greenthumb.
I come from a country where water has been a scarcity for a long time and
conservation has always been part of my lif. Interesting fact. In the city that I live
in, the water that you drink, at an average has been through a human bladder
seven to nine time.
Usage rough statistics
The initial research led me to believe that
• I need to audit the use of water in the different departments to find out how
the school uses water and where there can be areas of improvement. I tried
to get water counters installed into the ceramics and scyulpture areas but it
would have cost the school money and due to funding the research could not
• Hardware changes needed to be made to force the use of less water
• Behavior change needed to happen to get students to consciously use water
• CMHC doesnt measure the usage on a regular basis to be able to see a
change in usage of any significance.
• Areas of concern was the ceramics mixing room, claywashing stations and
Every 8.5 seconds, a 1.25 liters of water gets dispersed from the tap.
So per minute there is a dispersal rate of 8.8 liters of water
Every 5 minutes 44.1 liters gets wasted
One mixing cup takes about 3 minutes to clean.
In 3 minutes 25 liters of water gets wasted.
That’s equivalent to 51 bottles of water.
Abandon ProjectDue to all of the problems attached to the water problem at Emily carr I
chose to persue the problem in another Context.
+ Water usage in the ceramics area is at a premium and students use water without much regard for the quantity they are
wasting. Signage and materials that offers information and encouragement for water useage reduction would be an initial
step I would recommend. Offer basic statistics on their own usage and then challenge them to reduce those numbers.
+ Footpedallled water activated taps might be a great way to reduce water running constantly and might facilitate reduction
without behavior change.
+ The ceramics area could benefit from a high powered cup washer to clean out the containers they utilize to mix their
+ Water Counters at the taps might be helpful.
+ Low flow taps in areas where they make sense would help reduce the consumption
Technology and infrastructure.
+ Reverse osmosis machine is a long term investment that could facilitate a raincollection system and augment a great
amount of water for human consumption and for industrial use.
+ Raincollection tanks should be installed on the downspouts and used filtered for industrial use.
Get the water metered on a more regular basis rather than yearly to see consumption trends
The School administration needs to see rainharvesting and water conservation as a nessecity rather than a luxury to aviod.
The sustainability of the campus can be measured on its water consumption on its own and a major opportunity exist in
this problem space. As a student here at Emily Carr in my Graduation year I chose not to persue this problem space as the
inherent “red tape and politics” I encountered toward conservation was just not worth at the time so I chose to take a different
strategy in my approach toward conservation of water. I chose to look at raincollection methodologies and spaces.
Answering BOSA Properties artist
The approaching environmental crisis has catalyzed a widespread momentum around the topic
of Urban food systems and farming, waste creation and other issues of human footprint legacies.
The “popping up of community gardens all over the city of Vancouver has now spilled into the
real estate development domain in Vancouver .We are answering an artist call for a proposed
project, as a collaboration of five interdisciplinary student of art and design to help design, build
and program and urban food systems in the setting of a new apartment complex development.
My focus will be to research the domain of rainwater harvesting and distribution.
An artist call has been made to submit proposals to join in a project that will combine
art,design,urban agriculture and programming in a new apartment building development South
east False Creek. The project brief calls for a combination of initiatives to support growing,
gathering and sharing food at a new condominium. It also describes the need to address
sustainability in the form of possibly a rain harvesting and or educational aspect.
The development will be situated on the Quebec and 2nd ave block in Vancouver. This area is
declared as a heritage site and has been classified a transportation history(railway and
motorway)area and should carry some of those elements in the final design. It is very close to
a major intersection of Main and Terminal which is a space where many people congregate,
some form marginal communities of the DTES. It is also very close to Telus Science world from
a geographical point of reference.
The area is predominantly a space where the Railway services of Vancouver existed as a large
presence in the area.
The project is to take the traditional methods of rain harvesting and community gardening, uproot
it into the lens of the viewer and ask some questions about our conservation culture. My project
is to design a public installation at this site that will harvest, educate, store and irrigate the
The installation should show what it does, how it does it and make people understand why its
doing it. It has to make people think about and understand the process just by looking at it. It
must make them want to investigate the act of rainwater harvesting, growing food and sharing
knowledge by seeing the system as part of a system.The aim of this project is bring the most ubiquitous substance on the
planet [water]and use it
as an educational tool and to consciously conserve it to feed the garden as part of the
programming to the rest of the project.
BOSADenied Back to the Drawing board.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work out exactly as planned. But we persevered! We had a team potluck where we discussed
what we’d learned together and the progress we’d made, and while the opportunity remained to continue with the
original space design, we decided that it was more important to us to get our ideas on the ground, than to create a
So we began exploring other options. We still wanted to transform a space and generate local food assets. We looked at
residential, hospitality and educational options.
Finally, we decided on a small business. S’Wich cafe, a small coffee shop on the north shore with an underused yard
space in back, became a bright spot in the Cultivate story. Switch is a community oriented business with a mandate of
sustainability, a perfect opportunity to put our ideas into action.
The space seemed a perfect fit within the YWCA Harvest Share Capital model, a tool used to evaluate the viability of
space for food production.
For the S’wich Cafe space, we looked at existing physical elements like square footage and rooftop downspouts,
Based in Vancouver, BC –Cultivate is a graduation project by four students from Emily Carr University of Art and Design that aims to help grow the
connection between community building and food by creating opportunities for collaborative gardening on a neighbourhood scale.
Our goal is to bring communities together to build skills, friendships, and promote a healthy lifestyle by inspiring people to make more informed deci-
sions about their food.
Our vision is to transform orphaned or underused spaces into engaging and sustainable gardens to foster the building and growth of a strong commu-
Through each garden we build, we wish to give back to the community by donating fresh organic produce to local social ventures.
Evaluate: Survey the land
Measuring the physical, natural, human, knowledge, social, and financial capital of an underused or orphaned space helps to evaluate the viability of a
collaborative garden project.
Connect: Nourish key relationships
Developing relationships with local urban agriculture organizations and social ventures is a big part of the stewardship plan for a Cultivate garden and helps to
shape the day to day activity of the space.
Engage: Take root in the community
All members of the neighbouring community become stakeholders in a Cultivate garden and are involved in planning, installation and operations to varying
Design: Plot out space and systems
Based on community feedback, the landscape plan, budget, wish list and fundraising initiatives are created to get the project on the ground.
Support: Grow into the future
As a garden grows, so does the need for organization and structure. Cultivate facilitates programming, scheduling and management of a garden to ensure
project sustainability and stewardship.
S’Wich Cafe has a mandate to include a focus on sustainability, community and integrity by using whenever possible locally sourced and environmentally
responsible products. To support this mandate, Cultivate hopes to transform the underused yard space behind S’Wich Cafe into a venue for food production
and community events. This will necessitate a unique, volunteer-run system that contributes fresh produce to a local social venture, and facilitates events such
as educational workshops, harvest dinners for the community and more. That’s why we have decided to partner with the Edible Garden Project.
Through their backyard sharing gardens, the Edible Garden Project provides thousands of pounds of fresh produce every season to the to Harvest Project and
directly to residents of social housing complexes on the North Shore.
In this rebrief I am choosing to explore the act of rainharvesting in the context of a
community garden. In this case the product wil live in the SWICH Garden in North
The project is to take the traditional methods of rain harvesting and community
gardening, uproot it into the lens of the viewer and ask some questions about our
conservation culture. My project is to design a public installation at this site that
will harvest, educate, store and irrigate the human imagination.
The installation should show what it does, how it does it and make people
understand why its doing it. It has to make people think about and understand
the process just by looking at it. It must make them want to investigate the act of
rainwater harvesting, growing food and sharing knowledge by seeing the system
as part of a system.
The aim of this project is bring the most ubiquitous substance on the planet
[water]and use it as an educational tool and to consciously conserve it to feed
thegarden as part of the programming to the rest of the project.
This Project will consist of a capturing surface and a storage container and the
distribution is suggested for the use late in the process book