It may be the depths winter outside but inside; with a fairly regular temperature, good lighting and a little care, we can still have a garden inside. And for an ever increasing number of homes with little or no access to outside space these indoor gardens can offer a way to connect with nature and get that sense of satisfaction from actually making something grow. There is also an environmental side to these designs; they recognise the ways in which plants can enhance our homes by purifying the air, providing food or filtering water without the need for other man made and energy consuming devices. It represents a return to nature in an urban setting.

Studi'Eau_1Studi’Eau is a living statue for purifying a glass of water. You and the plant have a symbiotic relationship.  You give the plant a glass of rainwater which it then cleans, the evaporated water collects inside the bowl and drips along the gutter into the drinking glass. The plant provides you with your own glass of purified water.

Park_KasKastKasKast by Marije van der Parkis a cabinet for edible plants to grow. Made from scrap steel, glass from old greenhouses and a piece of used oak the cabinet displays the art of cultivation.

Patrick_Nadeau_RainforestRainforest by Patrick Nadeau has created an installation for Italian brand Boffi, consisting of hanging domes covered in a type of hanging Spanish moss called Tillandsias usneoïdes. The plants will survive from the moisture in the air, the steam generated in everyday cooking being a perfect source of water for them.

Radesca_Personal_Fresh_AirPersonal Fresh Air by Julio Radesca de Carvalho shown at Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven 2010. In researching how plants can enhance the office environment Julio discovered that it takes twelve plants to filter the air indoors. With this in mind he created Personal Fresh Air’ a desk that holds the twelve plants in a hydroponic water system; white hydro stones replacing soil for easier maintenance. Not only do the plants filter the air but they act as a partition wall for privacy and a little noise reduction.

Warmenhoven_Everyday Growing by Juliette Warmenhoven invites you to explore the wonder of growth through a series of incubators. Growth can be examined quickly when seeds are sprouted and their rapidly develop over just a few days. Or the slow growth of a bonsai tree can be observed over a period of decades. The incubators allow you to observe the roots as well as the branches

Kahn_Harvest_ChairHarvest by Asif Khan brings London’s flowering foliage into the home and uses them as raw material for furniture. Using the process of plastination to transform the fragile stems Gypsophila into a rigid and preserved usable material. Stems are woven onto the chair frame before being plastinated, all water is drawn out and replaced by a polymer. Plastination was pioneered by the eternally creepy Gunther von Hagens who created the process as a way of preserving bodies; displaying his work in the controversial Body Works exhibitions. Von Hagens holds the patent to the process and co-operated with this project. Khan’s use of plastination on plants creates a more poetic and functional end, although process is still in the conceptual stage – it is far too complex to be of commercial use as yet.

Postcarden_CityLondon designer Aimée Furnival of Another Studio for Design has created a series of greetings cards that fold out into miniature gardens, in which the recipient can grow cress.
Anyone can grow cress – it just takes a little care and in a short space of time you have your own crop.
Finally here are two designs that have updated the hanging basket and brought it indoors.

Llot_Llov_Hanging_Basket3Luci by Llot Llov is an aternative to the outdoor hanging basket of begonias. Four metal rings are knotted into a macramé net; a simple flowerpot is placed in the lower ring and the macramé loops provide a frame for the plant to grow through.

McDowell_AirPodHanging Air Pods by Michael McDowell The ceramic pods are designed specifically for Air plants which hate to have their roots in standing water.

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