All posts by jimmytang

Final Project Proposal

Team: Jimmy Tang, Ziqu Zou, Norma Chan

For the final project, my team and I are going to build an algae carbon dioxide scrubber. A carbon dioxide scrubber is a device which absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2). It is used to treat exhaust gases from industrial plants or from exhaled air in life support systems such as rebreathers or in spacecraft, submersible craft or airtight chambers. In our algae carbon dioxide scrubber, air is passed through a container where the CO2 is absorbed by the algae and oxygen released.

Portable Algae-Powered ‘Chlorella’ Pods by Ádám Miklósi

Culture Urbaine  by The Cloud Collective

2012-10-08-DSC_0062smallerAlgaculture by Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta

F9O7K22FRD89OSZ.MEDIUMSimple Algae Home CO2 Scrubber via Instructables

“Gas Exchange of Algae” via the National Library of Medicine

A  patent for system for purifying a polluted air by using algae

Mobile Microscope

1 For the this assignment, I made a mobile microscope. It is small, handheld, and fully portable. With this simple microscope, you can now observe your surrounding in micro-scale.

Making:2 For materials, all we need is a tin can (with a removable lid) and a converted webcam.

3 4 First, cut off the clipping part of the webcam.

5 Then, drill a hole on the lid.

6 Cut off the excess part until the webcam can fit inside the hole.

7 Cut an opening on the can (so the usb cable can pass through).

Testing:10Connect the webcam to your computer. Open Photo Booth.

8Take the portable microscope up close to your object.

9 Now you can observe your object in micro-scale.

1When you are done, put the cable back in the can. You can carry it anywhere you go.

Midterm – Growing For The Future

Team: Jimmy Tang, Ziqu Zou, Norma Chan

We propose to build a wearable device to grow plants on our body. Plants provides essential resource and nutrients for human well-being. We may often neglect the significance of plants and give little thought about it. Plants are the core and backbone of all life forms on Earth. The relationship of an urbanite may or may not have a close relationship to agriculture. Where we hunt for food are from the selective neat isle of the grocery store. How we could strengthen our relationship and appreciation for plants? By drawing plants relationship closer to us, literally we are growing plants on our body. We inquire if perspiration alone would be enough nutrient to feed our plants. This wearable device allow us to work with our physical body to generate food for plants. We are completing the cycle of food chain close to our skin.

We imagine there should be multiple layers of different materials to simulate an environment suitable to grow plants on a garment. The plant layer should be dry enough for the touch on the skin, yet absorbent enough to keep the roots moist. As one of the early iteration, we used an everyday household item: the sanitary pad to grow plants. Numerous brands and types of sanitary pads are tested to see which material is most suitable. We decided to use a product that remains thin and dry, yet the gel within its layers could trap enough moisture for the plants. In additional, we rigged holes to plant the seed to provide an opening for the sprout and plant to grow. So far, we have planted cat grass successfully.












Mid-presentation-11 Mid-presentation-12 Mid-presentation-13 Mid-presentation-14

Final prototype:

imageWearable planter shirt.


Midterm Update – Growing for the Future

Team: Jimmy Tang, Ziqu Zou, Norma Chan

For this week, we experimented on different materials to grow plants. We wanted something can absorb a decent amount of moisture from our body (sweats, tears, etc), and still comfortable to our skin. We tested with various female hygiene products since they fit our requirements.

3The water absorbing material inside a sanitary pad. Dry, on the right; wet, on the left.

We planted different seeds on sanitary pads made from different brands.

IMG_0092We also planted seeds inside a tampon.

2Pad with alfalfa seeds inserted.

First production sketch. We were planing to place sanitary pads next to each other to create a bigger growing space.

1IMG_0154We tried out different placements of the pads onto a garment.

IMG_0156We successfully grew some wheatgrass on a pad.

Midterm Proposal – Growing for the Future

Team: Jimmy Tang, Ziqu Zou, Norma Chan

A mobile, wearable and plant-able garment that literally brings us closer to nature.

Why should your beautiful plants sit at home? We propose to build a wearable garment to capture moisture through perspiration (sweating). The vinyl garment covers the body and acts as a sauna to trap thermal energy. The heat will trigger the body to produce sweat to keep the human body cool. The sweat collected are used as plant food. The plants inhabit (as the lining) between the vinyl garment and the human body. The physicality and feel of the plants brings the wearer closer in touch with nature literally. The living plants are now mobile and can take part of your daily routine.

The human body may produce up to 1-3 liters of sweat within an hour. Sweat is made with sodium, chloride and potassium. These minerals are carried to the surface of the skin by water produced by coils within sweat glands. You may not notice sufficient amount sweat because it is evaporated in the air, leaving salt behind.


Initial goals: We inquire if the human body sweat as plant food would be sufficient to produce healthy plants.

Long term goals: The first garment is a raincoat. In the long term, we imagine to have a series of wearable plant garment such as hat, t-shirt, backpack, pants, shoes, etc.


Wearable planter clothing by Egle Cekanaviciute

Wearable Eco Air Cleaners by Chiu Chih, a student at Wuhan University

Moss Collar by Tara Baoth Mooney

Growing Jewelry by Hafsteinn Juliusson

Wearable Planter by Colleen Jordan

Woolly Pocket’s Vagabond Purse





Sharing: Growing Crops with Video Projections

To recycle culture into fertilizer, the Raised on YouTube project aims to grow plants using only the dancing light and sound of algorithmically curated video.

Plants can sense light direction, color frequency, and can be programmed to flower with cycles of darkness. They respond differently to colors of light: most plants hate the green spectrum and reflect it away (hence their green appearance). Different types of chlorophyll are stimulated by specific colors: red light makes plants grow tall and spidery and blue light makes them short and bushy.  Grow beds raised with video mature into manufactured landscapes serving as data visualizations of concentrations of cultural energy.

Growing plants with user generated web video sutures the natural and cultural ecologies in the hopes that they will inter-grow into a whole.
The web enabled ecology game Raised On YouTube invites visitors to paste YouTube videos and get their photosynthetic power score. In the Spring of 2014, the videos were projected on plant grow beds and the resulting scene streamed to the web. Top three players with the most photosynthetic videos won prizes made from the plants grown with their videos.

The result is crowdsourced alchemy transforming the unwatchable glut of video content—a sort of cultural waste—into value.

Mobile Lab Idea

Mobile Food Lab by Jimmy Tang
My mobile lab idea is a mobile food lab. With the mobile food lab, we can easily grow our own food no matter where we are. It provides some of the essential elements for plant growth – light, temperature,  and air circulation. From doing this project, I would like to know if we  can an we grow food in a urban setting and eliminate food miles completely.


For this paper prototype, I am combining different household items to set up this mobile food lab. It includes two CPU cooling fans (for air circulation), a yogurt maker (for providing constant heat), one 4-layer sprouted (as growing beds) and one clip light (for providing light).


Niwa growing system

Wearable planter by Colleen Jordan