Garden tower is an urban gardening system which can be scalable as per the user's need. This is a product that can be used in less space (indoor or outdoor) as this is a "Vertical Space Design". Garden tower is designed with the following considerations:
Primary focus - The product appearance (Look and feel compactable for both indoor/outdoor use)
Secondary focus - Easy maintenance (Assembling and usage)
Tertiary focus - Scalability (Incorporating Multiple plants in one unit)
The main challenge in designing an urban gardening system is limited space. In urban areas, gardening is done mainly in the front lawn, balcony, terrace, indoor living rooms etc where the horizontal space is limited. That is why I came up with the idea of "Vertical Space Design" ie, Using the vacant vertical area rather than doing horizontal design.
The next challenge was how to make it usable and attractive to use in both indoor and outdoor. Talking about indoor use, the product must be easy to clean and maintain all the time. For this, there is a base tray provided which collects the waste water and tray can be removed easily without disturbing the whole system, leaving no stains or dirt on the surface.
After clearly defining the function, I took inspiration from "autumn" for the color, texture, and shape. After iterating and playing with the colors, I could come up with the emotional design which is unique and blend with the indoor atmosphere.
Designing this product was challenging, at the same time, it was interesting and fun. The whole design process is explained in detail below:
1. Know the problem: Design an innovative gardening system for the urban region.
Urban gardening system design objectives
a. Vertical space design - Urban areas have less space. Therefore the approach for the design is vertical space design.
b. Clean, compact, attractive, handy - The functionality of the product includes the maintenance of the product. Attractiveness and compatibility is key factors of consideration.
c. Both indoor and outdoor use - The range of usability of the product is wide. This is usable indoor or outdoor as per the requirement.
d. Household and wholesale sales - The target market is mostly the household people. but the wholesale market is also eyed in case of public areas such as shops parks etc.
3. Research on types of vertical space gardening system: Garden towers are the most effective vertical gardening system that uses maximum vertical space without interrupting the natural growth of the plant. The various types of existing garden towers are as follows.
a. Wooden structures - This is one of the oldest known technique of vertical space gardening system. The Pyramid shape allows sunlight to fall on all layers. The lifespan is low as wood degrades fast. This is not handy and compact. This is a single bulky unit. Transportation is very difficult. Cleanliness and maintenance is difficult. Altogether the efficiency level is low.
b. Homemade - This is a basic bucket layer design. Locally available plastic buckets are layered according to need. Holes are made on buckets for more planting. Transportation is very difficult. This is not handy and compact. Cleanliness and maintenance is difficult. The watering system is bad. All together the efficiency level is low.
4. What needs to change:
a. Problem - In a balcony of 4*8 ft (avg size), maximum 6 pots can be incorporated, Not suitable indoor, Maintenance is difficult as the pot need to be lifted up to remove the waste water from the tray
b. Solution - Provision to plant multiple plants in one unit, High end finish for indoor use, Incorporate easily removable tray for easy maintenance
5. Design focus:
a. Primary focus - The product appearance (Look and feel compactable for both indoor/outdoor use)
b. Secondary focus - Easy maintenance (Assembling and usage)
c. Tertiary focus - Scalability (Incorporating Multiple plants in one unit)
6. Ergonomic research and idealization: After clearly defining the function, I took inspiration from "autumn" for the color, texture and shape. After iterating and playing with the colors, I could come up with the emotional design which is unique and blend with an indoor atmosphere.
7. Sketching out the ideas are done by hand as well as "sketchbook pro" and CAD detailing is done in Solid works with actual measurements.
8. The final step was making hand model to check the feasibility and doing photorealistic renders using "key shot"
The overall response was very good. The common people really liked the product. The people who are in the design field gave a big appreciation for the project. The main points were the color, texture and functionality. The design process was also appreciated.