We love designs and products that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor and make greenery a more integrated part of our daily routines. And it doesn’t hurt when they’re as thoughtful and well-designed as the Cultivate System from Ian Walton and Eoin McNally, for the “Kitchens of the Future” project sponsored by the German manufacturer Miele Kitchens.

Their idea was simple: what if you could design a system that allowed you to grow a good part of your daily allowance of fruit and vegetables in the kitchen, and do so in a way that essentially works without any knowledge of cultivation and gardening? The result: A series of hydroponic modules which can hold up to three plant pods in a wall mount for simple access and use in limited spaces. The units also supply the power and water (greywater from the kitchen sink) necessary for the system.

“Our initial reaction to the brief was that the future of kitchens and kitchen life did not have to be entirely technologically driven. Instead we were interested in encouraging a more natural and sustainable way of life,” write Ian Walton and Eoin McNally.

The modules are removable so that you can take the grown vegetables and herbs to the preparation area of your kitchen. As an added bonus, and to show how much they thought about sustainable issues in their design, the modules are made from recycled corn plastic material and a nice bamboo ply trim. The grow trays are made out of polypropylene, a much better alternative to PVC. Green in function AND material, we can’t think of a better addition to any kitchen.

+Eoin McNally
+Ian Walton