Most watering hose attachments currently on the market are aggressive in nature (e.g. spray guns) that both physically and emotionally distance the user from engaging with the mindful action of gardening. This action of watering from a distance discourages deep water seepage in soil and thus is an ineffective method. When sprayed at close range the high pressure of the spray gun can also damage top level soil. The trigger mechanism can be difficult for differently abled people to operate and, if repeated as a ritual task, risks repetitive strain injury to the user’s joints.
Watering cans present similar ergonomic issues – larger cans place heavy strain on the user’s wrist when full, while smaller vessels require numerous trips to and from a faucet to refill to the required volume. Flow seeks to remedy these shortcomings. In form, the product resembles the archetype of a watering can, clearly ascribing the user interaction. In practice though, Flow proposes a vastly different experience.
By using Flow, users are encouraged to explore their gardens – no longer being distanced by the space created from far-reaching spray guns, the interruption of refilling watering cans or the automation of irrigation systems. The application of this design could empower differently abled individuals in fields such as horticultural therapy, enabling those previously excluded from gardening activities an avenue of participation. For older people, Flow could encourage greater physical activity, as gardening involves a diverse range of movements – as well as creating a platform for social engagement.
First testing of prototype to explore afforded interaction.