May 8, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
As part of the Master of Interior Architecture and Retail Design program at Rotterdam’s Piet Zwart Institute, design students Mariann Hildal and Milda Liubinskaite investigated the re-emerging role of the garden through a “research through making” approach to design and craft.
Herb²’s design consists of a series of interconnected plywood and Plexiglas cubical units that can rotate up to 90 degrees allowing one to configure them in a variety of patterns. Each cube contains a small terrarium visible through the Plexiglas. By sliding the Plexiglas in and out via tracks in the wood, one can regulate the atmospheric growth conditions of the plants within the flexible structure.
When closed, Herb² is an herb terrarium whose low-energy ambient LED lighting system creates an eco-climate that offers temperature control and recycles excess humidity as moisture back into the soil. One needs only to pull open Herb² to control light exposure and ventilation or to pick the herbs, which grow in removable water-resistant nylon planter bags that can be transplanted elsewhere once the plants reach full size.