The start of every venture begins with research. Before we began, we only had general knowledge of hydroponics, and a limited understanding of oxidative stress damage and benefits. These topics, however, are fundamental to how Oxyponics works and how it will be applied. We knew we needed to understand the intricacies of the problem, the industry we were trying to break into, the needs and wants of the end users, the science behind the design, the environmental impact of our system, and the communities that would be affected by advances in hydroponics.
We set out on a mission to interact with, learn from, and integrate feedback from scientists in the field, existing businesses, our end users, and community leaders. We implemented the principles of design thinking to: first, identify the problem to be solved; second, go to the users to find how to solve the problem in the best way; and third, get user feedback on what we developed.
We developed our project using the expertise and personal accounts of the individuals we spoke to, from the beginning stages of conceptualization to the end creation of our project.
We simultaneously conducted interviews best organized into five categories, seen in the tabs below. Interviews in each category were conducted with interwoven timelines that spanned the development of our project. This method let us organically gain insights about a large range of aspects relevant to OxyPonics, and led us to see how far-reaching our project was, even beyond just improving plant growth. We gained a sense of how our Oxyponics would fit into the larger industry and how our biocircuit could have further applications. The learnings from all of our research and interviews were put together like puzzle pieces to make informed decisions regarding product development and to envision product impacts.
Throughout the process of bringing a product to reality with truly integrated human practices, we spoke to over 45 contacts:
5 oxidative stress researchers,
6 plant biologists,
30 hydroponic crop growers,
4 hydroponic supplies vendors,
2 community leaders.
Some additional individuals are included in the Policies
section, where we also discuss our project’s legalities, safety, risks, ethics, and environmental impact. Here we thematically highlight the most impactful interviews that we had and the key takeaways from our conversations.