June 19, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Compact urban spaces and the limited light and cold temperatures of New York City winters present challenges to those wishing to grow their own food. Urban dwellers seeking pieces combining style and function for indoor growing have even fewer choices. In response to these limitations, Brooklyn-based furniture and design studio, Analog Modern, unveiled their Hydroponic Kitchen Island at the Model Citizens show for New York Design Week.
Small Footprint Dining and Kitchen Prep Area
In a design typical of high end furniture or kitchen cabinets, the island’s compact footprint (60″W x 36″H x 33″D) serves as a dining and/or kitchen prep area, incorporating water and space efficient hydroponics combined with energy efficient LED lights. In both incandescent and LED versions, the system pulls 160 watts (LED only version as low as 90 watts) while growing up to 30 plants at a time throughout the year. A small computer fan cycles on and off drawing in fresh air and helping maintain the temperature.
“As the world population rapidly increases and arable land decreases, new ways of producing food uber-locally and reducing food miles fascinate us, explain the designers.” Is this the answer? Not even close, but a small step in the right direction for urban dwellers. Wouldn’t we rather grow outside in the sun? Absolutely, but in NYC not only is there not much light half the year, but it’s also cold during that time.”
Last year, Analog debuted another hydroponic kitchen island prototype, above, this one a table constructed of walnut and stainless steel, also designed for the constraints of a small urban apartment (it is just 24 x 48 x 36 inches.)
Serving as a small kitchen garden, prep table from one side, and dining table from the other, the design employs T5 or LED grow lights to continuously cultivate produce about as local as it gets.