Energy-packed microgreens growing in small urban spaces. Gardens growing inside transparent furniture. Jenna Spevack's "8 Extraordinary Greens" and Dagný Bjarnadóttir's "FurniBloom" are two projects that are combining agriculture and design in very unique ways.
Master composter and permaculture specialist, Jenna Spevack, has designed an efficient, sub-irrigated system for growing microgreens in small, urban spaces. Household objects, like a dresser, a suitcase, a chair, a kitchen cabinet, and a desk have been modified to house the microfarms.
The sub-irrigated system she used to grow the greens in the show is made of a chafing dish (similar to that found in high school cafeterias): Water goes into the bottom pan, soil and seeds go into the top pan, and hemp rope wicks water from the bottom pan into the soil, keeping it moist. This system ensures that the plants will do fine even if the grower forgets about them for a week.
For her exhibition of this work at the Mixed Greens gallery in Chelsea, a small "farmstand" served as a space for the harvest and sale of eight kinds of microgreens. The gallery visitors determine the monetary value of the exchange, based on a set of choices that will support local, urban agriculture non-profits. The visitors can then choose to take the greens or leave them to be donated to a local soup kitchen.
FurniBloom is a set of furniture that features a transparent table and stools that provide the perfect place for growing herbs, flowers, and small vegetables. The furniture is designed by Icelandic landscape architect Dagný Bjarnadóttir.
Bjarnadóttir created this blooming see-through furniture with the intention to combine a stylish, flexible and simple look with multi-functional use. This furniture is a great solution for those limited on space and looking to create a garden of their own in their small home.
The furniture is constructed from Poly methyl methacrylate (a.k.a. plexiglas or acrylic glass), giving way to a sustainable product that is both recyclable and long-lasting.
The eye-catching design has been touring several design events including the recent edition of the quirky Icelandic initiative DesignMarch, the Stockholm Furniture Fair and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.