Post D — A speculative space

In response to my investigation in post C, I have decided to design a speculative environment that speaks to the issue of the Southern cross aged care facility producing large amounts of organic waste with relatively low recycling rates (Freeth & Hutcheon 2015).

The speculative design is an immersive environment built for the residents of the aged care facility — which gives the residents a chance to experience nature and have a more active role in the way in which their waste is managed.

The space of Southern Cross Care’s existing yard has been used to inform the placement of multiple compost bins. These bins are placed around a large circular, central garden. The compost bins run around the periphery of this central garden, feeding the garden with their nutrient-rich soil via an underground pipe network. The round form of the bins and the central garden, encourage residents and workers to move around the garden in a communal, and almost tribal fashion. The garden will offer a self sufficient means of fruit and vegetables for the kitchens of the aged care facility and also offer an effective, alternative means of waste management. My sketches of the speculative space follow:

Utopian garden
Image: Initial sketches for my speculative communal garden
future garden
Image: Digital collage of the speculative communal garden

John Ferris, Carol Norman and Joe Sempik, published a journal article in 2001 which dissected this idea of a communal garden and what that might mean for bordering community. A key insight from the research outlined that “community gardens can be positively linked to the implementation of Local Agenda and sustainability policies and at the same time used to promote environmental equity” (Ferris, Norman & Sempik 2001). This suggests that the garden has a social affordance that spans far wider than its physical diameter or provision of sustenance. The garden perhaps creates an egalitarian space for the workers and the residents —one of sharing knowledge and practice. We see a space created that allows for additional outputs of organic waste matter and also a space that educates and spreads ethics/culture.

In researching existing community gardens, I found some beautiful communal garden spaces in urban developments of Tokyo:

Image: The communal ‘Green roof’ gardens of Tokyo (Eidt 2014)

These gardens, which soon influenced my own final design, are built into the harsh, urban landscape of Tokyo. Tokyo has introduced policies that require these green roofs to be installed upon 20% of all new public flat roof surfaces exceeding 250 square meters, and 10% of all private flat roofs exceeding 1000 square meters. The policy has resulted in the construction of around 50,00m2  green roofs annually since 2009. The communal gardens are used to promote ‘the greening of the city’ — spreading a sense of community and education through green, communal space (Eidt 2014).


Eidt, J. 2015, Landscape Urbanism: Green roofs, Community farms in Japan, Wilderutopia, viewed 9 June 2016, <;.

Ferris, J. Norman, C. & Sempile, J. 2001, “People and Sustainability, Community Gardens and the Social Dimension of sustainable Development”, Social Policy and Administration, vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 559-568.

Freeth, J. & Hutcheon, A. 2015, SA aged care case study, Zero waste SA, <;.


One thought on “Post D — A speculative space”

  1. Very interesting design concept, especially the incorporation of age care facilities as a great percentage of elderly are more actively involved with gardening.


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