Thanks to the 1960s Love Bug movies, the name Herbie will forever be associated with anthropomorphic-machine cuteness — and Michael Kritzer‘s Herbi is no exception. The hydroponic countertop herb pot is sleek, modern and elegant. But don’t be fooled — Herbi’s not just all good looks and no brain; this little gadget is smart. Even if you are one of those people who can’t keep a stick of bamboo alive, Herbi will grow vibrant herbs for you year-round by telling you exactly what it needs and when.
When Herbi needs PH adjustments, nutrients or water, it communicates directly by illuminating a blue LED behind one of four corresponding icons, meaning you don’t have to be a plant-whisperer to have a healthy garden. You can connect up to six little mod units (called “plant silos”) for an herbal medley in your kitchen.
Last fall, readers went nuts over Green Fortune’s Streamgarden, a sexier-than-usual hydroponic pot system for growing plants indoors. Philips made a similar splash with their Herbarium design, but readers became frustrated to find that this design wasn’t available for sale anywhere. Herbi raises the bar for smarts and sex-appeal, and while its not in stores yet – it looks like its on its way in the near future.
According to the designer, Herbi was styled after Plusminuszero, the Japanese company whose pared-down product line perfects minimalist houseware design. “Herbi also draws heavy inspiration from the old wheat and grain silos that were and still are spread throughout the rural plains of America, [and] the elegantly simple and dynamic movements of Japanese Architect Tado Ando.”