There's nothing quite like the heady aroma of fresh herbs, and nothing more satisfying than growing your own. Whether you use them to scent a room or give your cooking some much-needed taste bud titillation, if you live in tightly-packed city accommodation then indulging your appetite for fresh greenery can be difficult. If your home is not blessed with enough window space for a hanging garden like Windowfarms, but you have lots of floor space that's just begging to be divided up, then take a look at the Herb 2 project from FABRIKAAT. An experiment in folding and bending, this flexible partition wall is also a herb garden and an unusual source of low-energy lighting for your living space.

Herb 2 is the brainchild of Mariann Hildal of Norway and Lithuania's Milda Liubinskaite, and was created during an intensive three-month design course in the Master of Interior Architecture & Retail Design program at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. One of four FABRIKAAT projects on show at the recent Milan Design Week, it's said to have been influenced by the distinct lack of garden space available to those living in the Netherlands.

The structure features interconnected cubicle units made of pine plywood, each containing a small Plexiglas terrarium. In its resting position, Herb 2 just looks like a stack of boxes, but there's a manual pull-up mechanism that's used to lift the strategically-hinged containers so that gaps appear between them. Each unit can rotate at up to 90 degrees for ventilation and to give access to the crops, and users can experiment with different patterns depending on taste, and probably structural balance.

The herb garden components can slide in and out on tracks to help regulate growing conditions, and a low-energy LED lighting system on the underside of each cube means that users don't need to worry about placement near windows. It also makes for an attractive living room light feature. The herbs are grown in special planter bags made from water-resistant nylon, that can be simply lifted out and replaced as necessary.

The Herb 2 system is not available commercially but the following video shows the design process from start to finish, should you be suitably inspired to build your own version:


View gallery - 6 images