Help us Build a Prototype

Take a moment to check our fundraising effort on Indiegogo and also share it with your friends. All the tools are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make the 'Water Truck Project' happen.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Who We Are and What We Are Creating

No, we are not the makers of the world’s first camel car. That’s a sketch from a brand brainstorming session when Gil suggested “Glass Camel”. Camels store water in their humps and are used for transportation. It was a solid connection to the box truck we will modify to house a filtration system designed by students at the University of Florida.

We’re in week 6 in the semester session of this project and we’re forming the visual identity of the project. My team, which is full of graphic design and environmental design majors, are also tasked in developing this blog. We’re building our online footprint by posting articles about water insecurity and design solutions to this issue. Also, I hope we display our personalities and methods as designers.

I hope visitors see that we are smart, collaborative, analytical, creative, and fun.

So how do we express those qualities in a blog? How do other people do it?

The Look of Other Water Conservation Blogs 

From left to right, top to bottom: National Aquarium, Water Use it Wisely, Water World, Portland Water Bureau, California Water Blog, and Blue Water Baltimore

This is how other organizations have designed their blogs. 

Less Grey, A Little Blue, and More Brown

Let’s reference, but stand out from the blueness of water conversation groups. Essentially, let’s look at rich brown earth tones to turn people towards the actuality of nature.

Below is a simple way to play with that. I changed the background color to a light brown (#a18757) to add warmth. Also I experimented by changing the body text to Puritan and the title header to Crimson Text.  I like Puritan's smaller, more refined style and I wanted to include a serif font to add a touch of variety. Also I manipulated the header image to just focus on our logo because I want to direct visitors to the blog pages to find out more about us. 

The Original Content We Provide

I like the variety of length between Angela’s reflection on a source to David’s and Katie’s shout outs to interesting finds. They meet the needs of different audiences because some will want instant tweet-like posts and others will want more analysis on the research.  Yet I think we can generate other original content.

We could provide useful tips for other student designers who trying to raise funds. For instance we could write : 10 Things Not to Do in Your Crowd Funding Video. We’ve looked at various Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects so we know what works and what doesn’t. To learn how to quickly generate content I suggest everyone check out Ask A PR Girl’s How to Write 100 Posts This Weekend. My list suggestion is just one way we can learn how to write more for the blog.

So guys, let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below. What are your keywords  for the blog’s image? It’s ok if one of them is moist.

-Ashley Renee Ferebee

Hello again!

Here's the link to National Geographic's "The Hidden Water We Use" page. I thought this was really interesting when I was trying to gain perspective on how much water individuals around the world consume. The production of everyday goods like coffee prelude to a shocking 880 gallons of water used for every 1 gallon of final product.

Again, a great deal of this has to do with the irrigation of crops that are necessary for the product. For instance, 1 pound of beef requires nearly 1800 gallons of water. The majority of this water is not used for hydration of the cows, but for the growth of feed crops such as corn and grass.

I found this whole webpage to be pretty informative. It does a good job of putting into perspective the materials used in processing of all of the products that we take for granted.

The Hidden Water We Use


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hey guys,

I was exploring Google, trying to find a better understanding of some of the irrigation systems that are being used in the agricultural world, as it pertains to some of the research that I was focusing on.

I stumbled across this video series entitled "Farming Simulator", a thrilling RPG in the lifestyle of our agricultural  entrepreneurs. In this video in particular the narrator is showing us how to work the pivot irrigation system that many farmers use to water their crops. I found it very interesting that the structure is a combined pumping system that deals with both irrigation and fertilization. As we know, fertilizers are some of the most harmful pollutants in most water systems throughout the US, and even the world.

The narration spends but a few seconds explaining the origin of the water being used, " directly pumps from...uhhh....a reservatory that exists..uhh, in the map."  Sort of a disconnect, right? He knows it's there, that's all that matters!

What I found most interesting about this video is the amount of fertilizer that was used in such a short period of time. As the game works, every 15 seconds is equivalent to 60 seconds in real time. To work through the 100 liters of fertilizer, it took only 7 seconds, equal to about 25 or 30 seconds in real time. What's even more surprising is the cost at which the farmer was subjected. In that half of a minute, he spent roughly $56. By the end of the video, which took place from 17:20 to 17:39 (19 minutes) he had spent about $307.

Hopefully you can view the video, if not I've posted the link as well.


Friday, September 28, 2012

the water filter quiz

Take this 20 question quiz and learn more about how water is really filtered and what are the differences between the different types of water.
  Water Filter Quiz

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Compass Green Mobile Greenhouse Truck

Hey guys, this is a cool truck that has some good designs that I think we may be able to draw from. Particularly the blend of function and education/presentation.

here's the kickstarter page they used to raise funding for the truck

So the people behind Compass Green built a funcional mobile greenhouse in the back of a back of a box truck. Not only does it grow produce, but gives presentations, workshops, and greenhouse tours at schools.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Interesting merger of two concepts - 3d printing and emergency housing.
I am not sure I buy it... seems to me that this is another version of "temporary housing" that fails to consider much about the local conditions - people needing activity and work as a part of reconstructing their lives. But, since we just met up with the Spark Truck guys, I thought I would share:

- Teach.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

So -
I wanted to align some of our thinking as we start to consider concepts for branding our invention.

One thing to be clear about is that this project will need to adapt to future conditions that currently aren't part of our program... For those that missed class last week, in discussions with the group from UF, they have been tasked with the following assignment (and it is great to think of this effort in such precise words):

How do you design strategies for providing sustainable systems for food, water and energy in a post-disaster delivery system?

A couple key words there.

First - PROVIDING... Perhaps a better word would be promoting, but in this case we are thinking about a process of providing services in disaster relief. In such a scenario, the first responders do in fact provide goods and services. The problem with the current model is that most of these provisions arrive in non-sustainable modes - energy via diesel power generators, food via relief packets and water via plastic water bottles, both of which eventually end up as waste.

Thinking about this issue a little further, in epic disasters, like the one in Haiti in 2010, there are infrastructure problems on the ground that become problematic. Roads are difficult to traverse, making the pick-up and removal of waste difficult, or the delivery of fuel impossible. Trash winds up making its way to the ground where it eventually winds up in stormwater systems that become blocked and contaminated:

photo from Port-au-Prince, Haiti March, 2011.

So, the second key word is SUSTAINABLE... Unfortunately, in a time of crisis, these systems of delivery are difficult to improve. Mobility is critical, and that is what we are offering - a mobile delivery service. This prototype can be considered to be a conduit between areas that are stabilized and working, and areas that are unstable and dysfunctional.

Our current program is looking only at the water issue.

Eventually it might take on more - like energy and food.

We might imagine a brand that can grow and adapt to this evolving circumstance... What are themes that connect with both providing an infrastructure of clean water, clean energy, and healthy, sustainable food options?

I was thinking of one name I wanted to share: the Re-Leaf Truck.

I like this concept because it defines a priority to add back into the broken conditions stable options for food, water and energy - instead of providing temporary solutions. Stability is a key concept. We might want to recognize, with whatever brand we chose, that our goals are to provide systems that can translate and transition into permanent systems... either through transitional support (until permanent infrastructure can be re-established), or through rooted stability (growing seedlings that can be planted into stable agriculture).

Anyhow, I thought I would throw this out... let's keep thinking about it and we can pick up the discussion again next week.
Good morning!

Here is a good article on the "paradigm shift' we have been discussing - from treating wastewater for release into our storm sewers and waterways, to treating wastewater for supplementing our potable water system:


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome to The Water Truck Project...

The first rule of The Water Truck Project is you don't talk about The Water Truck Project.

Just kidding.

Start posting.