UpGrow is a modular hydroponic planter designed for urban users. Disappointed with the countertop herb gardens on the market, I designed UpGrow to hang from the wall in a ladder-like chain, providing users with their own scalable herb garden no matter how cramped their environment is.
Competitor analysis revealed that current options in the home herb garden sector are expensive and limited in use; pod systems restrict the vegetables that users can grow and increase cost per yield, and countertop & floorstanding placements take up valuable real estate in a small apartment.
I explored forms that used vertical space in various ways, hanging from the ceiling, under counters, and stacking on top of one another.
I settled on a stacking form in which a standardized grow medium (mineral wool cubes) sits in plastic net planters, which rest on the lid of a clear reservoir. LED grow lights shine downward from each planter to the next one below.
The design of the custom net planter went through 4 iterations, first with a focus on reducing mass & plastic use, and later to improve the aesthetic connection between the planter and the organic form of the visible roots.
The hollow capsule shape for Upgrow's growlight is designed to rest on the steel cables without additional support. Cables can be daisy-chained from top to bottom, so the final cable in the chain rests closest to a power outlet.
The reservoir is designed for vacuum-forming from PET sheet stock. Slight grooves in the form hold the steel cables in place.