Urbnearth Planter (Automated Garden) by Phil Weiner
2017 - 2018, Golden A' Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design Award Winner
A few years ago my father passed away from diabetes. This spurred me to take my own journey into homegrown food starting with salads. Unbeknownst to most consumers, how salad makes its way through the supply chain is far from fresh and safe. Salad holds the record for most wasted produce and is the leader in foodborne illness. This product transforms users from consumers to empowered producers, creating a significant paradigm-shift in our food-supply chain.
The Planter is a beautiful at-home system for growing fresh organic salads outdoors. The Planter waters itself and learns what plants grow best at your home. Each Planter comes with compostable seed trays pre-filled with nutrient-rich planter mix that snap right into place. Fill up the reservoir, drop in the trays and voila. Your greens are ready to grow! Refills are automatically delivered right to your door via a subscription service.
Design Challenges
The principal challenge of creating the Planter was developing a system that grows the greens in a variety of outdoor conditions, maintains an elegant yet iconic aesthetic, and produces enough salads for a family to enjoy throughout the year with minimal labor. And to do so with a value proposition that would meet 99% of Americans' needs instead of just 1% of early adopters. A fun and educational way to provide a steady supply of organic greens that are fresher, safer, and stay fresh longer.
Production Technology
After conducting an in-house study on design preferences with potential growers, we finalized the direction of a circular design that was symbolic of something that many American families already have on their patios - a grill. The outer shell of the Planter is made of ASA which has improved weather resistance properties. Not only does it deliver the best growing experience, but the straw-based compostable seed trays and peat-free planter mix take full advantage of cradle-to-cradle principles.
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