The social garden is a place where you can grow the flowers of friendship by wishing good fortunes to the people you love.
Each greeting sent, plants a seed in the garden.
The more greetings you send, the bigger your flowers will grow and your share of the garden will become more beautiful.
Create your Social Garden. Sow the seeds for a better 2006 by greeting your friends.

To visit the social garden, and sow your own seeds
click here

Note that you will need to use Macromedia Flash player version 7

Concept and interaction design: Ruth and Erez Kikin-Gil
Programming: Erez Kikin-Gil , http://www.tiltool.com
Visual Design: Ruth Kikin-Gil, http://www.ruthkikin.com


About the Social Garden project


New Year was approaching and we wanted to greet our family, friends and colleagues with a happy new year. Now, a new year’s time is always a period for reflection on life, and on the people that are part of life. We did that and we realised that the people we know are spread among many countries and across several continents. Some of them know each other, others don’t.

We thought it would be interesting to create a tool that will not only allow us to greet our friends, but will also reflect some of the relationships among them (and among them and their friends) through the way they greet each other. So we created the Social Garden . ( Read about social networks)


The Social Garden is a pl ace where anyone can grow the flowers of friendship by wishing good fortunes to the people they love. They do it by sending greeting cards through the system.
Each greeting sent, plants a seed in the garden. The more greetings someone sends, the bigger their flowers will grow and their share of the garden will become more beautiful.

Understanding the interface


Yellow flowers signify a greeting sent to a person

Pink flowers signify the activity level of the sender. Pink flowers grow and increase in numbers according to the amount of greetings a person has sent

The grey lines signify a connection between a sender and a receiver.

Moving the mouse over a name or a flower reveals the associated greeting.

Viewers can move the content up, down, right and left, and can zoom in and out.

To greet a friend and to add flowers to the garden – click on

Pretty easy, right?


About the technology

The Social Garden in an online data base driven application, based on Macromedia Flash, AMFPHP – Flash Remoting technology, PHP and MySQL. The programming languages used in this project are Action script 2.0 and PHP.

What’s next?

We really don’t know yet.
It would be interesting for us to find out the things with which people greet each other, and what good fortunes they wish for others. We hope you will find it interesting too.

Although we created it for New Year’s, we think it is open enough to keep on living throughout the year. So why don’t you take a few minutes, send a greeting to a friend and plant a seed in our social garden?

About social networks

When looking at computer and telecommunications technology we can see that they lead to further spre adi ng of the society, by detaching it not only from geographical limitations, but from temporal restriction as well, thus enabling people to create and sustain societies anytime and anywhere.

Researchers like Castells look at these new communities as existing only in terms of connections (or ‘information flows’) between remote individuals [1], and Wellman defines community “ as network of interpersonal ties that provide sociability, support, information, a sense of belonging, and social identity. I do not limit my thinking about community to neighborhoods and villages. This is good advice for any epoch and especially pertinent for the twenty first century”[2]

A new form of community or “tribe” has emerged, based on contexts instead of locations. Sport, music, sex and brands are the new catalysts for creating communities, coupled with the need of being together. These Neo tribes are emotion-based, internally diverse and temporary. The communities do not share pl ace , but have strong social relationships based on mutual aid, conviviality, and professional support. Each community builds an ethics, which creates "ambiances" - atmospheres, life-styles, that distinguish one network from another[3]

Mobile communication devices are the optimal vehicle to support these types of communities, as they provide a ubiquitous contact, both in social terms and in terms of access to information. When the technology is coupled with a social need, a cultural shift is happening.


[ 1] Castells Manuel., “The Rise of the Network Society”, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1996.

[2] Wellman Barry, “Physical place and CyberPlace: The rise of personalized networking” , International journal of urban andregional research Vol. 25, No. 2, Blackwell Publishing , 2001 p.228

[3] Maffesoli, Michel, “Post-Modern tribes and communication”, A talk given on August 19th 2004 in ISEA2004 conference, Helsinki , Finland .


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