From Outer Space to Small Space: Rotary Indoor Hydroponic Garden on Shelf

June 7, 2012 by

If you can grow food in a spacecraft, you can do so in the confines of a small urban space. Developed by NASA and readapted by Italian studio, Design Libero, the Green Wheel is a rotary hydroponic system concept created to grow a constant supply of fresh herbs and produce without soil in a space vehicle.

Big Space Benefits in a Small Space
The eco-friendly Green Wheel offers many of the benefits of a traditional garden but can be placed on a small shelf and provides a large growing area to cultivate more plants. A light source in the center of the wheel, close to the plants, contend the designers, helps reduce lighting consumption in contrast to traditional garden lighting.

Sleek and Smart
With a sleek design reminiscent of Apple products, the planter’s outer solid case hides the engine which rotates the plants, a water reservoir, and a pump for automatic plant irrigation. Containers, which contain cocoa fiber to provide support for the plant and its roots, are placed inside the perforated inner wheel. Employing a simple app with a smartphone or tablet, one can manage the amount of light, control the temperature, and check the water level.

We’ve written before about sleekly designed, smart, and automated growing devices like the Biome terrarium, which also uses smartphone technology to manage its climate, water, and nutrients. What do you think?


  1. ml johnstone said:

    reinventing the wheel what is growing in there?

    — June 8, 2012 @ 10:12

  2. Kate said:

    This is the least eco friendly “garden” I have ever seen!! It uses electricity, chemical growth agents and lots of plastic.

    — June 8, 2012 @ 21:37

  3. SEO Melbourne said:

    Easy to read, interesting and easy to understand. What more do you want from a topic-specific article? Thanks for sharing!
    SEO Melbourne

    — June 9, 2012 @ 05:37

  4. Recycled Water From Draining Dishes in Dish Rack Irrigates Kitchen Garden | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] by Milan-based design firm, Design Libero whose shelftop rotary hydroponic garden, Green Wheel, we wrote about recently, Fluidity is another of this firm’s small space-saving designs for […]

    — June 28, 2012 @ 16:08

  5. Danny Lupiani said:

    Very cool design!

    — July 16, 2012 @ 21:22

  6. Agen Bola said:

    Easy to read, interesting and easy to understand. What more do you want from a topic-specific article? Thanks for sharing!

    — August 16, 2012 @ 23:05

  7. Christie Dunne Murphy said:

    How does it maintain the nutrients and ph levels in the water?

    — April 21, 2014 @ 15:44

  8. 6 Kinds of Hydroponic Gardening Systems Pingback said:

    […] Space Fast forward to today where NASA is currently experimenting with growing food hydroponically in space. Growing the food in the cosmos may be represent the future, where astronauts, urban gardeners, and […]

    — November 15, 2015 @ 22:32

  9. Futuristic Gardening Pingback said:

    […] disease and rot. There is potential for completely pesticide free growing, and the implications for space travel are […]

    — April 21, 2016 @ 13:47

  10. A Bird's Nest For People Doubles as Hydroponic Garden - Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] featured a number of  DesignLibero’s works before: The tabletop Green Wheel rotary hydroponic system designed to grow herbs and produce in space, and Fluidity, a mini […]

    — July 27, 2016 @ 17:09

  11. How To Build A Raised Hydroponic Garden (A Step by Step Guide) Pingback said:

    […] your own needs. Presently, NASA is employing the knowledge of hydroponics in their experiment with growing food in the outer space. This may represent the future where home farmers, urban gardeners, and astronauts grow food with […]

    — February 28, 2019 @ 12:31

  12. Portable Greenhouse-to-Go Makes Fashion Statement Pingback said:

    […] Greenhouse-to-Go isn’t exactly a practical accompaniment to outer space, a desert island, or really anywhere. It is, however, a very stylish glass terrarium with gorgeous […]

    — August 16, 2022 @ 15:53

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