Team 3 – HERB² (Folding/Bending)

Mariann Hildal (Norway)
Milda Liubinskaite (Lithuania)

HERB² is a flexible partition wall, which functions as an indoor herb garden, allowing users to create separate living spaces and to grow plants year round.

HERB² responds to the scarcity of garden space in interior living spaces in the Netherlands, by creating an indoor vertical garden that also functions as a partition wall.

The form of HERB² is derived from research into versatile folding techniques. This led to the design of a series of interconnected cubical units, made of plywood and Plexiglas, that can rotate up to 90 degrees to create a variety of void patterns. Each cube contains a small terrarium visible through its transparent Plexiglas component. The interconnected cubes form a flexible structure, and by sliding the Plexiglas in and out via tracks in the wood it regulates the atmospheric conditions for the growth of the herbs.

A manual pull-up mechanism allows the creation of separate environments, both visually and functionally. When HERB² is closed, it serves as an herb terrarium with a small eco-climate that incorporates adequate temperature control and a LED lighting system. HERB² merely needs to be pulled open to control light exposure and ventilation or to pick the herbs. The terrarium is also designed to recycle humidity to provide moisture for the soil.

The materials for HERB² are carefully considered. The Plexiglas and pine plywood are partially recycled, while LED lighting is integrated at the bottom of each cube to create a luminous atmosphere, as well as provide the terrarium with a low-energy light source. The herbs grow in custom-made planter bags made from water resistant nylon fabric. When the plants are fully-grown, the bags can easily be removed and relocated.