The Green Wheel by DesignLibero is a NASA-inspired rotary hydroponic garden. NASA has come up with many ideas over the years, but due to budget and time constraints a lot have been discarded. Among them was the concept of a rotary hydroponic system that would have provided astronauts with fresh herbs and salad on long space missions. But now the brilliant idea has been revived in a sleek design that is perfect for earth-bound applications.
While the function remains the same, the rotary garden has undergone a massive evolutionary change from an aesthetic point of view. The Milan-based studio combined their experience of interior design, architecture, product and graphic design to create a unique object that the hydroponic garden allows home owners to produce a variety of agricultural products in their own home.
The Green Wheel’s large growing area helps to cultivate a greater number of plants, as does the project’s illumination design. All plants are arranged around the light source that lies at the center of the wheel, helping to reduce lighting consumption. Meanwhile, the wheel’s gravity effect helps to optimize herb and vegetable production. Made up of an outer solid surface case that hides an engine that rotates the plants, the rotary garden also includes a water reservoir and pump for automatic plant irrigation. Inside the perforated inner wheel are vases and cover vases, each of which contain coco fiber that provide perfect support for the plant and its roots.
The wheel is also simple to use with an intuitive control interface that can be managed through a smartphone or tablet. The variable controls allow the user to set the amount of illumination and light temperature and to be advised of water levels, allowing the growth of virtually any vegetation. DesignLibero head Libero Rutilo isn’t shy about his company’s creation, describing it as “an iconic garden object for residential use, like a TV.” Nor should he be.