One Kind Block

Design Challenge

#3: How might we learn from COVID-19 to reimagine our future for life, work, learning and play?

Project Description

One Kind Block is a Lego-like Hydroponic module system. 17 year old Dylan Soh’s idea to make cities fertile. There is nothing in the market like it.To make cities fertile, we need to make apartments fertile. That’s why we designed One Kind Block to fit windows, balconies and corridors. Wherever there’s sun to grow your herbs and vegetables. One Kind Block requires water, hydroponic nutrients, and is sealed to prevent mosquito breeding. It has minimal footprint but maximises growing space. It fits into HDB walkways without blocking space.

Criteria #1: Value

Urban farming has always been challenging because apartments haven’t been designed for that. Finding the right areas with sun is crucial. Corridors need to be clear while soil based plants take up space and bring insects. Neighbours get upset. Beginners under or over water. There’s no unified design system to grow in a systematic way. Hydroponics are very expensive and with IOT systems that frightens beginners. It’s not scalable.

Criteria #2: Inspiration

Imagine a hydroponic block that can connected and placed wherever there’s sun. Like Lego, you have different shapes and sizes that can be adapted to balconies, windows, corridors and to existing architecture. You can install a solar powered pump outdoors or grow lights indoors. It is made in SG to the highest quality yet cheap and scaleable. It is easy requiring only hydroponic nutrients, water and sunlight. Doesn’t take up space round corridors and is a design system.

Criteria #3: Impact

Most of the resources in Singapore require victims to first identify After covid, we realise it’s important that not only the country but families need to be sustainable. One Kind Block makes urban farming accessible to everyone. We have commercial farming which is top down. This is bottom up farming, getting the entire nation to do it. Imagine homes producing 5% of their own supply? Won’t that cut our dependency on exports? Imagine the elderly farming, families exchanging greens to create the kampung spirit, or the young connecting to nature? What is that value to the nation?

Criteria #4: Timeliness

We have spent three years and did 8 prototypes. We are on our final one. We can get this produced in Singapore and shipped by August in its basic form. It will take another 6 months in December to get the corner blocks, double volume blocks and extra long blocks produced. We can show you the prototypes today. We have the Singapore company ready to manufacture it. We have the social media following from One Kind House to help launch it too.

Criteria #5: Systems Thinking

NParks already have therapeutic gardens. We can now take this to every floor in every apartment. It can help elderly patients recovering at home. It gives dignity and purpose to retirees and seniors so programs with MOH, MCYS. It creates the kampung spirit, and families can exchange greens and recipes for home based meals under URA and HDB. STB/EDB can even publicise it as the new smart farming homes. There’s no reason why it can go global.