HOOP HOUSE

Portable Greenhouse for a Local Elementary School Garden
October 2015 | ARC 48200 at Carnegie Mellon University
In collaboration with Zane Birenbaum, Timothy Khalifa, Matthew Radican, Somin Shim and Dingkun Wang

Critical Question:
How can rapid prototyping guide the development of functional and engaging design?

The installed Hoop House was fully accessible after many rounds of prototyping and mockups.

Problem

We were asked to design and construct a portable greenhouse within 5 weeks by a local non-profit to extend the growing season of an elementary school garden planting bed.

Ideation

Before diving into making rapid mockups, we met with the client to identify concrete design parameters: These conversations drove the ideation of prototypes developed in the early stages.

1. Create effective microclimates.

2. Ensure maximal accessibility

3. Design simple assembly

Prototyping & Development

After going through multiple iterations, we agreed on producing 4 modules with a swing door to allow for maximum accessibility. The final design (F) improves upon previous options in functionality and performance while refining our aesthetic agenda.

Image (left and right): Prototype mockups to test the final design option (F).
Image (left and right): Prototype mockups to test the final design option (F).
Image (left): Side view of Hoop House; (right): Design team in front of the constructed product.
Image (top): Side view of Hoop House; (bottom): Design team in front of the constructed product.

Construction & Installation

Our rebranding efforts culminated in the launch party for our latest publication. Through a new visual identity and various merchandise, we bolstered our presence in the school community and even attracted visitors from other departments!

Diagram: The process of constructing and assembling the Hoop House.