Trees are being burned, degraded, and logged at astonishing rates. 80% of the world’s forests are already destroyed. It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests left. Urbanization, Mining, Fires, Logging, and Agricultural activities are all to blame for this destruction (Vidal 2017).
The first step in solving this problem is to raise awareness. Each tree is unique, and every tree has an interesting story to tell. When people realize this and start building a personal connection with the trees around them, they will naturally develop a protective instinct towards the trees they like. The goal of this thesis is to help the user build a connection with the trees around them by providing information such as type, size, history, and species name. If we can show the user a unique and interesting story about each tree, it will go a long way in engaging them in tree preservation.
The app starts off by suggesting a list of trees nearby and directing the user to the tree. The user adds the tree to the app’s database by taking pictures of the leaf, bark, and the whole tree. With the help of image recognition technology, the app identifies the tree. The app then provides information about the identified tree such as the tree’s name, height, age, location, previous visitors, history and other interesting facts about that tree. This makes the user realize that each tree has a unique story to tell which will help them create a personal connection with the tree.
This app is a fun way to learn about trees as the app introduces the concept of birds, seeds, and nests.
In addition to providing information and helping users connect to trees, the app also encourages the user to take action. When the user has visited a specific number of trees, he/she will be eligible to send donations to plant a real tree through a third-party tree planting organization. So, not only does the app raise awareness of the importance of trees, but it also motivates users to be responsible and protect all existing trees and gives them the means to plant real physical trees on earth. Thus, through the app the user is causing real, measurable, positive change in the real world.
Visual Communication Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CAD)
Sivakumar, Surudhakeerthi, "Trēfolio: Protecting trees through emotional connections and greater awareness" (2018). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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