May 13 – For those of you that have been following the Botanic Garden Competition that FRLA ran earlier this year, I thought I would update you. You may recall that it was won by a joint submission from two botanic gardens that wanted a garden designing for each that helped them tell the stories of the anti-malarial plants that occur in both countries.
FRLA’s initial thoughts revolved around building identical gardens in each country, thus allowing visitors to each to have the same experience. While this could be made to work, forcing plants from either Kenya or the Netherlands to grow in the other would require environmentally controlled glass/shade houses where the temperature and light levels could be manipulated. This would be an expensive and unsustainable solution. So, instead, we developed an idea for using modern technology (web-cameras and the internet) to bring the other countries garden to visitors. While this isn’t the same as experiencing these plants for real it does bring with it some advantages. The use of augmented reality techniques means that the visitor can interact with the live video stream. By touching on a plant of the screen its name is revealed. Another touch results in more information about the plant and its use, including video and audio, being presented to the viewer. In addition to this, the viewer will also be able to see visitors in the other garden and changes in their weather, which will reinforce its existence and the fact that these two botanic gardens have linked up for this project.
There is more about this here on the projects page.