Project
modul.Grow is the idea of a modular garden for growing mushrooms, sprouts, spices and herbs in the comfort of your home. The modul.Grow allows for fungi and small green plants to grow year-round and ensures independent variables (ie., temperature, humidity and light intensity) are controllable through the press of a few buttons on the dedicated app.

How does it look like?

What is modul.Grow?

modul.Grow is a home vertical modular growth box for growing herbs, spices, plants or mushrooms from the comforts of one’s own home. The stackability of the boxes allows an unlimited amount of boxes to be put on top of each other. However, two-stacked boxes were envisioned to coincide with a kitchen island seamlessly for the base setup. In doing so, these boxes are connected to LEDs, aqueous pores, heat regulators, and numerous sensors. The purpose of these sensors is to provide feedback to a designated mobile app, which is then used to control the respective primary, secondary, and tertiary features within the box itself. Furthermore, within these big modular boxes are additional smaller boxes, which allow the user to plant whatever they choose. From the exterior perspective, the big box itself is a half-glass, half wood structure. The half-glass element of the structure was designed around being modular and allowing the user to exchange transparent light-penetrating glass for an opaque light-phobic style glass. This light-phobic glass creates an ideal condition for mycelium to grow mushrooms as fruiting bodies as an alternative to green plant growth. To control internal and UI elements on the box, configurations can be made to the mobile app via a personal user profile, system overview function, holiday/manual modes, seed purchase menu, farming guides, and additional green features. The modul.Grow app provides users feedback on the status of their plant growth and on necessities that require the user’s attention.

How do you interact?

Interacting with the modul.Grow system usually involves actions performed on the physical boxes as well as the dedicated mobile app. Both are connected via Wifi and exchange information. The physical system gives information to the app through sensors, while the app is the control unit for the system’s environmental settings (temperature, humidity, light).

The app provides various possibilities to control the physical system. First of all, there are two-dimensional representations of the physical boxes and the plants within the boxes. Every new plant is first added digitally. The app has a huge plant database and can predict the plants needs for optimal growth. The app will guide the user to plant the plants through how to videos that can be watched. It will encourage the user to read through information sheets so that he/she knows about the plant's needs. The user can set the right environment for the plants (temperature, etc.) through sliders. Also, the app will give notifications about important events like watering or harvesting of plants. In general, the modul.Grow app provides users feedback on the status of their plant growth and on necessities that require the user’s attention. Some images of the prototype digital app can be seen below.

Innovative aspect

The modul.Grow offers the innovative aspect of being used to grow plants, spices, herbs, mushrooms, etc. in the comfort of your own home. It is not necessary to have a garden or a balcony, not even to have a place with natural sunlight for the plants to grow. The modular plant box system offers the possibility to grow plants without the source of natural sunlight and without taking up too much space. It can be placed in every apartment or house and the modular system offers the user to stack as many of the boxes as needed.

The product is inspired by the vertical farming approach but offers so much more possibilities than the simple idea of using vertical space. The boxes can be incorporated in kitchen islands, used as room divider or as a simple shelf with gardening function. The modular charging connectors on each box ensure the connection of various boxes and make the control of the whole system an easy task. For controlling this system the App is used, which offers many possibilities to manage your modular.Grow system. It can be used to control temperature, humidity, water level, etc. but also to learn more about your plants, get notified when the plants need anything, and much more. While similar approaches of indoor gardening might exist, there is none that works in such a connected and smart manner. This digital, modular, smart system offers the possibility to grow your own plants and control everything with the smart app. Growing plants has never been easier!

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Design