Twitter-fed digital garden strikes Chelsea Flower Show gold for University of Lincoln
Academics at the University of Lincoln are celebrating gold medal success this morning at the world's most prestigious flower show.
Their unique digital garden has taken gold in the fresh garden category at the Chelsea Flower Show.
It responds to live Twitter activity - enabling the public to directly influence how the garden appears at any one time.
Created by academics at the University of Lincoln working with award-winning Surrey-based designers Harfleet & Harfleet, the garden is divided diagonally by a panelled screen which separates the planting of two distinct zones.
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Comedian Jack Dee and presenter Davina McCall were among celebrities spotted inter-acting with the garden yesterday.
A tapestry of familiar plants and foliage is greeting visitors, with the partially obscured exotic planting behind the partition providing a dramatic contrast.
The panelled screen responds in real-time to the buzz of excitement about the Royal Horticultural Society's centenary spectacular.
Measured by activity on Twitter using the #rhschelsea tag, the inner depths of the garden are only being seen when public excitement is at its peak.
The project is a collaboration between academics from the University of Lincoln's Schools of Computer Science, Psychology and Architecture, who are all involved in the development of the installation.
Dr Duncan Rowland, Reader in the School of Computer Science, said: "This is fantastic news for the University of Lincoln.
"The project has been terrific fun to work on and has brought my own research into cultural computing, together with other computer scientists, psychologists, architects and students to create this award-winning garden.
"I'm delighted it has received this recognition, a testimony to the skill of the garden designers and the cross-disciplinary collaborative spirit fostered at the university."
Head of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, Professor Harriet Gross, said: “We are absolutely thrilled and the students involved are ecstatic. It is a real testament to what can be achieved when such a talented team comes together to work in collaboration.”
Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at the University, said: "The garden is an opportunity to explore aspects of how we can interweave social media data with real space, as well as how it is possible to make sense of this data by creating thought-provoking visualisations.
"When people tweet, the screen activates by opening various panels and permitting selected views of the concealed garden.
"The planting inside represents the exotic or unknown immaterial world of the internet, moderated and revealed by our desire for knowledge and interaction."