In an effort to slow down and find more meaningful ways to spend our time, London-based designer Samuel Wilkinson has created the Biome Terrarium. Controlled by your iPad or smartphone, this living, breathing terrarium is like your very own plant Tamagotchi. By adjusting lighting levels, climate conditions and water, you help help nurture the plants inside. Wilkinson, who is also the award winning designer behind the Plumen light bulb, designed this flora terrarium for the ‘Slow Tech – Designs for Digital Downtime’ exhibition at trend agency Protein’s exhibition space last month.
The flora terrarium is encased in a high tech capsule that works a little like a live Tamagotchi. Low energy lighting is integrated into the capsule to replicate sunlight, while sensors provide real time information on the climatic conditions inside the dome. The smart garden is automatically linked back to your iPad or smartphone device when connected and displays a readout of the conditions. As the gardener, you can alter the light, water, climate, and nutrients.
Users can customize their terrarium to incorporate different types of environments like a tropical, desert, or even a herb garden. Designed to be easily controlled, just by the push of a button, even non-green thumb endowed people could make it thrive. Wilkinson dreamed up this high-tech smart garden as a way to experience digital downtime by finding an alternative use for smartphones. Although slightly counterintuitive, by using the smart devices to help grow a plant it actually encourages their owners to consider a slower life. Biome Terrarium was part of a larger exhibition called ‘Slow Tech’ at this year’s London Design Festival, curated by Protein and Wallpaper* magazine’s Editor-at-Large Henrietta Thompson.
Images © Samuel Wilkinson