Liam Lennon


Exploring the barriers to the uptake of sustainable agriculture using a speculative design approach.


Currently in Ireland organic farming makes up just 1.6% of available land, the second lowest in Europe. The sustainability goals set by the EU for 2030 will mean that Ireland will have to reduce emission levels by 30% compared to 2005. Agriculture, accounting for 33% of all emissions in Ireland will have a big role to play in meeting the targets set. One way this can be achieved is by farmers switching to more sustainable production methods, such as organic farming. Organic farming is a specific system of farming that aims to produce quality food in a manner beneficial to the environment and to wildlife.

This project aims to explore the possible barriers to the low uptake of organic farming in Ireland, and how farmers can be encouraged to adopt more sustainable practices. Through the process of Speculative Design, the app FarmCloud was created as a tool to facilitate discussions between various stakeholders involved in the issue. The app speculates on a future in which the farmer’s emission levels are tracked through the app based on a calculation of their emission levels and sequestration levels. Farmers that stay within their emission quotas will be rewarded with discounts on farming products, and those violating their quotas will have their livestock automatically auctioned by the app to reduce their emission levels.

Through a series of workshops, a number of various stakeholders were recruited to participate in activities that encouraged discussion and debate that were centred around the app. The discussions and objects produced were mapped and used to rapidly create prototypes to be further used as design probes.

Check out the video here for more information https://youtu.be/QtfZbEo6lEY

Liam Lennon
Liam Lennon