foraging for
everybody

Sanke is a friendly web-app that encourages Oslo denizens to engage with their city in new ways through foraging for edible plants abound. Oslo is exceptionally well integrated with nature, and many of its inhabitants share a pastime foraging for wild berries since they were children. There are so many more delicious edible plants out there –even on the average denizen’s commute, and yet most people’s diets unnecessarily exclude native wild edibles. Sanke aims to help reintroduce average Oslovians to the abundance of resources available already at their fingertips.

Borg logo and typography

Supported by the European Green Capital Award and Sparebankstiftelsen DNB, this non-profit project was the result of a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Iterate, Fragment, Bielke & Yang, Norges Sopp- og Nyttevekstforbund, as well as professional foragers Gaute Vindegg, Kristin H.R. Nielsen and illustrator Mari Kanstad Johnsen.

Iterate assembled a team of designers, developers, and GIS specialists to help realize Fragment’s vision of a map-based foraging app. The whole team worked together in synchronicity, from insights, to development of MVP, to maintenance, design, and implementation of helpful additional features. We kicked off the project by foraging in Oslo’s backyard, bringing our haul home with us and making pesto from elm seeds and salad with garlic mustard leaves and other greens.

We made sure to involve users from the very start of the process, testing paper and digital prototypes after each round of iterations, sitting out on our balcony with our homegrown squash plants, sketching and listening to folk music. We even recruited some test users after a couple of our developers were caught foraging for garlic mustard on the side of the road.


After several iterations, we realized that the direction we were heading in did not resolve users’ concerns about contaminated plants; user’s inhibitions, and consequently the likelihood that they would attempt to forage for a plant based on its position on a map, was concerning. Our team had to rethink. After remapping the user journey and extrapolating all of the possible data points and descriptors that related to plants, we then reconstructed the user flow to focus on teaching and reassuring users about various edible plants. The landing page features several curated groupings of plants and trees and allows users to dig deeper into each item. The map –previously the centerpiece of the whole experience– instead became the final stage of the user flow.

Sanke challenged us to craft a digital experience that is true to the experience of foraging for wild edibles out in the open air. We wanted to create a solution that could get out of users’ way and at the same time quell any concerns they might have about getting started foraging. This project taught us to be unafraid of questioning the very nature of the original pitch –repeatedly asking ourselves, “How can we do even better?”

Sanke has since been making waves in the local food scene, as well as being featured in one of Norway’s largest lifestyle magazines, D2. It currently hosts dozens of plants and trees and attracts over 2,400 users. You can visit the web app on mobile or desktop here: sankenorge.no.

Feel free to add it to your phone’s home screen if you find it useful!

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