This was a project done in late 2019 by three persons, Yvonne Zheng, Gang Yu and me. I was mainly responsible for industrial design of the product.
Potted plants has been common in families. Traditional potted plants grow in soil. People have to water plants and weed soil regularly. However, a larger plant keeper population have to go to school or work during days. Their busy schedule distracts them from spending much time taking care of plants. As a result, most of them choose to keep easy-to-grow plants, such as cactus and succulent plants.
In our product design, we would like to combine the technology of water planting which has already been widely applied in agricultural production with home planting to make an intelligent water planting system. Since plants takes roots in water and absorb nutrition from water, we inserted a timing water changing system. Users only need to add nutrient solution once a week, whatever the species of the plants.
Ancient Chinese gardens are famous worldwide for its being constructed to recreate and miniaturize larger natural landscapes. Traditionally, Chinese gardens blend unique, ornate buildings with natural plants.
Floral windows are the most brilliant part in Chinese gardens for its philosophy of ‘much in little‘. Frames of the windows are carefully designed, as if the scenery outside is a dynamic painting hanging on the wall. Moreover, from inside the room one could only see part of the whole scenery due to the wall blocking his view. This provides tourists with more space for imagination.
Learning from floral windows, we put the water planting system into a window hung on the wall. We hoped that our product could reproduce the dim beauty in traditional Chinese culture.
Experiment on the Water Planting System
We bought a few seeds and made an one-month-experiment in the dorm. We put seeds in modules connected by a water channel below. A motor was installed in water to ensure exchange of liquid. Cucumbers, lettuce and penny grass all grew well without much care, which really excited us.
Design of Light
Plants live on light. We arranged two sets of lighting systems in the water planting window.
Inspired by light effects of bamboos shaking behind Chinese Traditional paper window. We put a large backlight plate at the back of the window. Thin oiled paper with mountain-and-water paintings on it added to artistic conception of the product.
A regular energy-saving was also put on the top surface of the window to ensure weak illumination during sleep times.
The industrial design of the watering-plant window imitated traditional floral windows, which hold ancient Chinese philosophy of ‘a square earth and spherical heaven’. The intelligent watering planting system was hidden behind layers of thin mountain-shaped acrylic boards.
The intelligent planting window can be hung in living rooms or bedrooms at home, adding vigour and elegance to interior room space.
Ancient culture and civilizations provide modern people with a treasure-house, in which we can draw essense of these greatest minds of all time. By adding modern elements into old paradigms, new ideas are born.