Through the Grapevine

Building empathy between Seattle gardeners and non-gardeners.

Instructed by
Vassilissa Semouchkina

How might we showcase the wellbeing benefits of the gardens to non-gardeners? Our project builds collective empathy for community gardens in the greater-Seattle area (called "P-Patches") by prompting conversation between gardeners and surrounding neighbors. Here's a little love-letter to these unique and locally-significant spaces in the PNW.


Interviews, Secondary Research, Concept Suite, Design Synthesis, Prototyping, User Testing, Videography



Ryan Stephen, Ryan Sorensson, Julia Kolde
Field Studies: Design Research Techniques
‍Autumn 2021, 10 weeks


1/6 - Research

Click here to read the full research proposal... and here for the research study guide.

I also took some photos for observation!
Apparently the statue (upper-left) sparked a lot of controversy within the gardens...

2/6 - Making Sense - Insights, Personas, and Design Principles

3/6 - Ideation

4/6 - Testing

5/6 - PIVOT! 

Despite trying both physical and digital blooms, the table platform felt forced and invasive. Not only taking up space in the garden, but felt there would be limited engagement due to committing to sit down with a stranger for an extended period of time.

6/6 - Outcomes

Behind the scenes:

There were lots of rainy days and dirty hands involved with this design project, and I even caught a nasty cold at the end of the quarter... but it was SO worth it!

Check out this banana tree we found... IN THE MIDDLE OF SEATTLE!!!