2022 European product design award Winner
Herbablock is a wall-mounted modular planter system my partner (Robert McCoid). It is designed to encourage urban dwellers to grow plants and enjoy the benefits of having plants in their homes by addressing space and lighting constraints they may face. We were largely inspired by International Style, which shared our focus on urban-living, and tried to incorporate some of its characteristics into our design; our planters are simple, geometric, modular, and mass manufacturable. Their are different shelf forms, reservoirs, lighting and lighting modules that allow Herbablock to adapt to any need or situation.
Growing plants can be difficult for urban dwellers due to limited space and inconsistent lighting of urban spaces. Many urban dwellers live in small-cramped apartments that have little to no natural lighting. According to the census department, over 80% of Americans live in urban spaces. The proportion of people living in urban areas is projected to increase to 89% by 2050. This means that more and more people are moving to denser and more populated areas where greenery is rare, as increased urbanization reduces the amount of topsoil and vegetation of an area.
importance of urban planting
Houseplants can provide several health and environmental benefits. A NASA study from the 1980s showed that houseplants were very effective in cleansing indoor spaces of air pollutants such as cigarettes' smoke, radon, and organic solvents. Houseplants act as natural air-purifiers, which can be incredibly useful as urban spaces are often polluted. It is also important because the average person spends about 90% of their time indoors. Houseplants also provide stress-relief; in one study, over 74% of people reported that they experienced a boost in their emotional health.
The inspiration for concept 1 was bamboo. It incorporated small cup modules that can be stacked to be space efficient. All the plants in the system can be watered from the top as they share the same soil base.
The second idea was inspired by bee honeycombs. The idea was to use tessellating wall-mounted hexagons to maximize space efficiency. These hexagons can be arranged in any way the user wants.
Concept 3 was designed to be made up of stackable blocks. The blocks are connected together using small connector pieces.