Self-Sustaining Vertical Garden
I gained inspiration from existing living wall systems, the movement to incorporate living plants in interior spaces and the technology behind the world's future food source, urban farming
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Live Screen is a sculptural, self-irrigating vertical planter system that is comprised of tiered, organic-shaped pods that can house many different forms of vegetation. This
living piece of art not only enhances the ambiance of an interior, but promotes plant growth, sustains biodiversity, improves air quality and can serve as a healthy herb and produce source. Urban homes & offices lack both interior and exterior space to sustain plant growth. That's why this stand-alone, vertical structure is both modular and moveable and is designed so that it can be placed anywhere in an interior. The use of vertical hydroponic technology optimizes space and simplifies the process of growing your own plants so that urban dwellers may reap all the benefits of a healthier living environment. Its function-forward and aesthetically pleasing design enables people to harness their own green thumb in a modern and exciting new way, thus connecting people on a personal level, with the ability to grow their own fresh, healthy house plants, herbs and produce in their very own homes and offices.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Live Screen uses a modified drip hydroponic system that is concealed within the structure. Submersible pumps distribute water from an internal reservoir (located at the base of the structure) up to the top tier. From there the unique design uses gravity to deliver water to each subsequent pod. The pumps are set on a timer that activates the water flow at intervals that coincide to the plants’ hydration needs, thus conserving water and energy while creating a self-sustaining system. The drip hydroponic system pumps water at a low volume and rate, approximately once every 1-4 hours. Plastic tubes aid in water circulation throughout the interior of the structure, while a mesh divider directs the water flow out of one planter and into the next. This allows for a small amount of water to penetrate and form a reservoir at the plants’ roots within each pod. The Live Screen’s irrigation system ensures that the plants maintain an adequate amount of water, air and nutrients for optimum health. The holding tank at the base of the structure can be accessed by lifting the LED cover. This
accessibility allows for additional water to be added, the tank to be cleaned, pH levels to be tested and nutrients to be added to the water. The soilless system uses a combination of lava rocks and coconut husks as a planting medium within each pod, which eliminates the risk of soil-borne diseases. This form of hydroponics creates a healthier environment for plants to thrive.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project began in August of 2010 with the inception of the idea of creating a sculptural system that had a more dynamic function and was more accessible than a living wall. The project is currently in prototyping and production phase.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The base and vertical poles are made out of powder-coated aluminum and steel, while the pods are a plastic/resin blend. LED lights are embedded in the base of the screen to illuminate the organic shapes and give yet another function to the piece, ambient lighting.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The Live Screen is also fully customizable, varying in height, width and number of pods. This dynamic system can be designed for any space, no matter how large or small.
Self-sustaining, eco-friendly, screen, furniture, planter, eco-design, live wall, green, room divider, garden, sustainable, hydroponics
Research included the following: existing living wall structures, material analysis of plastics, resins and corians, irrigation and water pumping systems, hydroponics, horticulture and urban farming.
The most difficult aspect of the design process was designing the structure to be both simple and sleek while also incorporating an electrical pump irrigation system in the interior. The design had to to be structured around the natural flow of water using gravity to minimize energy requirements. Limitations were placed on the height based on the amount of pressure and water flow the pumps could provide. Only specific pumps that fit into the slim form could be used.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Danielle Trofe, 2010.