Saturday, November 28, 2009

you've been warned

this simple statement gave me a lot of ideas

Thursday, November 26, 2009

setting up a production line

a very slow production line though, because i dont have enough clamps to do more than one bin at a time, so i have to wait 5-6 hours between bins.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

weekend in the shop

I spent the weekend in the shop, working through this latest iteration and attempting to build it. It is in the stocks right now, letting the epoxy set up. I guess we'll see monday morning if it works.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

same bin, new material

so i am pushing my idea of the worm bin to explore itself in actual materials now, instead of paper-based materials. So I made a mold to wrap the metal (aluminum so it doesn't rust) around. Unfortunately, the way i made it, if i were to wrap the metal around and glue two end pieces to it, it would be permanently located there.

some pics:


I learned something new about worms this morning when i woke up. apparently they are very sensitive creatures, that after moving feel displaced in their new home, and in their longing for home, they try to run-away from their new worm bin to go home. They are very humanistic this way, and sometimes I feel like this, too. But, according to the old adage, " you can never go back home," i solved their itchy feet by leaving the light on them for a few days, now they seem to be settled.

Monday, November 16, 2009

i got worms

so after trying for a few weeks to buy red worms from a local nursery and being unsuccessful, i finally gave up and decided to order them online. I went to, based out of camas, washington, and less than 48 hours later a bucket of worms was hand-delivered to my door, because apparently doug was in the neighborhood.

so I put my little wigglers to work. i have to say that i was more grossed out by a bucket of squirmy little worms than i expected myself to be, so maybe i need to think about the initial packaging of the worms.

worms are not very photogenic

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I added some transparency to the model to show off the insides--this is starting to speak of the construction method that I'm thinking of; with the red becoming cnc milled pieces and the transparent will be wrapped around the milled pieces. The bins arent showing in this rendering but will hang from the milled pieces. in each section (3 of them).

black lake worm bin

The photo that follows provides an example of what the worm bin would look like if it were in the middle of a rectangle of black water. Okay, I wont demur your comment that my rendering skills could be polished, but I have completed the worm bin (except for a few minor details). Now I have to get it out. Here's the photo:

Monday, November 9, 2009

bin base

still needs some work!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

bin lid

here's a screenshot of what the bin lid is looking like right now. I'm trying to keep it very simple and clean, but it is coming out understated. There are currently two openings at the top, on of them for storage and changing the charcoal filter, and one for placing foodscraps and stuff. This is a early iteration, so if anyone has any great ideas on how to kick up this interaction with the bin, let me know.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

mdf run . . . (or bike)

I picked up a 4x8 sheet of 3/4 in MDF today, and it fit easily into the bike cart with room for more. It did however, lift my bike off the ground when I wasn't on the seat.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

inside the computer?

today, i got my ideas into the computer, at least for the detailing of the bin. Tomorrow, hopefully i can get them out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

designing for posterity

i really enjoy this very simple design element that has been in most of the apartments that i have lived in. The slot in the bathroom cabinet is designed for depositing razors after their usefulness is up. However, it only deposits them into the wall, somewhere. It makes you ponder exactly what our opinions are about our next generation.

while i'm on the topic of bathroom medicine cabinets, the doorcatch is an enjoyably simple, elegant solution.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

worm bin!

So, i believe this is my first post about the worm bin as project grow. In an ideal world, it would be in this post that i discussed my thought process and reasoning for choosing this as a design problem, as the act of choosing a design problem is a design problem in itself. However, i want to devote an entire later post to this discussion, and will exclude it from the current post, which is focusing on the first three dimensional iteration of the the worm bin. The scale of the bin is about 11 1/2 inches square, and 20 inches tall. I want to work with a worm bin the scalable, and the scalability of this bin will come from differently sized middle sections, while keeping the top and the bottom the same. That way, I can focus on the complexity of the "working ends" and avoid unnecessary material waste while exploring issues of pure volume. I calculated the volume to be 6.5 gallons not accounting for the round corners, and found online that the minimum recommended size for a worm bin would be about 3-5 gallons. To increase volume, the middle section (where the worm reside) can be increased.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

another round won by the bottle

In an attempt to improve the functionality of the last edition, I moved from cable to metal rod. Though the possibilities with detailing the joints becomes more interesting, the aluminum did not stand up to the bottle test. Steel might work, and I want to try it next, but I really liked the idea of the product being made of 1 metal that is highly recyclable. Here are some pictures:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

a five hearted beast

if you want to learn about worms, and have information told to you like you are in grade school, check out this website: Worms. I actually kind of like the graphics.

Friday, October 16, 2009

a revelation, maybe

After hours and prototypes spent trying to figure out how to have the cable fit easily around the neck and still be able to tighten, i finally though to myself, why does the cable need to go around the neck?

now to resolve the unique detailing challenges while trying not to break more drill bits.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

changing the pivot

I'm beginning explorations in changing the pivot of the tool to hopefully achieve a better mechanical advantage to open the bottle. Here's one stream of thought:

power of a product

I've been thinking about the grow assignment and am trying to articulate the problem that I want to solve. I've been thinking a lot about waste cycles, and how broken they are in the current food system. My focus is currently on the kitchen food waste type of cycle, and though an expanded frame of reference (including all household waste, including waste water systems) is not out of my mind, it is outside of the scale of this project. However, I'm having difficulty determining the power of a product, does a product have the power to change a broken system? Does it have the power to change peoples frame of reference, to make them think outside of their current realm of daily activities if they are not themselves searching for it? How can a product do this? Can the product an instigator as much as a solution provider?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

setting the frame

here is a really good website that states the global impact of and need for urban agriculture, as well as some of the policy issues that need to be overcome before it becomes a worldwide solution: Growing Better Cities

Saturday, October 10, 2009

tough economic times

While perusing the internet looking for local urban farming resources, I was excited to run across Pistils Nursery. I found that most websites on this topic are somewhat lacking in their graphic appeal, but Pistils seems to go against this trend. While looking at the section on urban chicken farming, a blaring contradiction struck me squarely. As the text referred to raising chickens in these 'tough economic times' while simultaneously advertising for a $1,300, I began to ponder the target market for urban agriculture products.

Friday, October 9, 2009

truck farm

food for thought, here is the link to truck farm by wickedelicate, i found it is actually better to watch the videos on youtube directly.

searching for the right tool

They say 'a designer is only as good as the tools they use:'

I'm in process of searching for the perfect tool to perfect my design.
photo from

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

an open bottle

after a hard days work, the bottle opener opened the bottle. The black eye was a result of one of the cable crimps slipping off which I carefully mended with a hammer. I may still need to find the right tool for this...