To arrive at our final concept, we followed the design thinking process taught to us at university. We began by trying to understand the challenge.

"Create an affordable, practical and evidence-based prototype that brings the multiple benefits of nature into the homes of low-income inner-city communities."

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As we discussed our findings, we began to understand the problem and the different avenues we could explore. In order to define a general direction for ourselves, we created an intent statement.

We individually researched topics that seemed relevant, such as the benefits of nature, possible stakeholders, ways in which people interact with nature, and its impact on the larger economy.

How can we encourage interaction with nature and harness its benefits at home?

 encourage 

We wanted to encourage, not enforce. The idea was to create a small nudge, not something that would be stressful in any way. 

 interaction 

Our ultimate product should be an interaction; it should provide opportunities for introspection, emotion, and connection with others.

 harness its benefits 

 home 

Whatever we create should legitimately provide a benefit that would normally be accessed by spending time in nature. We wanted to make sure that we could provide evidence for this.

The interaction should be as easy as possible to access at all times, and so we decided it should be inside the home.

To get some insight on how to do this, we identified several stakeholder groups and tried to get in touch with them.

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We ended up conducting interviews with extremely inspiring members of the Bristol community, who gave us a great deal of useful advice and also motivated us to keep doing our best :)

To make sense of all our findings from research and interviews, we wrote them down and grouped them into clusters. This would help us pick up on larger themes.

The clusters helped us identify different problem areas. To narrow these down to a single problem statement, we started to formulate 'how might we' statements. 

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'How might we' statements made us consider how we could go about solving the problems that stuck out to us. This helped us focus in on the kind of solution we wanted to create.

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This led us towards creating a final problem statement.

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People who "don't have time to help nature" need something that eases the process of bringing nature into the home to reduce the burden of helping the environment and encourage them to connect with the natural world.

We decided our solution should help people overcome the difficulty of making that first step. We wanted to create a long-lasting impact, and so we also kept in mind that we could involve children more in the interaction so that they could grow up to be ambassadors for nature.

Once we decided on the problem we wanted to solve, coming up with solutions became a simpler process. We began by conducting several different ideation exercises to help us open our minds and put down everything we could possibly think of. 

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After the initial ideation process, we each picked our favourite ideas and developed them through several iterations with continuous feedback. At every stage, we evaluated the feedback together and eliminated concepts that we couldn't improve any longer. Through this process, we arrived at our final concept and refined it as far as we could.

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Our final concept is a stuffed animal that grows into a plant after it is no longer usable. To prevent issues with durability, it has an inner layer that is biodegradable and can be directly planted. Having an inner 'skin' could also strengthen a child's bond with the toy and the plant because they can feel like they are burying the animal's body. Parents might be more willing to spend on something educational, especially for their children. Moreover, since the product also brings a reusable box and a plant, it could make the decision of bringing nature into the home easier for some. While logistical issues haven't yet been considered in this process, we are happy with our hard work :)

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- Cameron, Anika, Tiberiu, and Prim