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Room with a View: Window Shutter As Micro Urban Garden

Two French designers created a device that can turn any old window into a site for urban gardening

In the hierarchy of urban gardening space, the luckiest have access to outdoor plots or a nearby community garden. Then come a rooftop plot, followed by a balcony with potted tomatoes and herbs, and then maybe, a single basil plant sitting sadly on a stoop. Even people at the bottom of this pyramid are lucky compared to residents of dense urban neighborhoods and high-rise buildings that offer not even a smidgen of outdoor space, making any form of gardening an impossibility.

A clever project from French designers Nicolas Barreau and Jules Charbonnet elegantly transforms a window into a site for a micro-garden, bringing the potential for urban agriculture to just about any building.

The 'Volet végétal' plugs into a window frame (provided it's sufficiently large), instantly greening your view. During the day, the shutter descends like a drawbridge with a tug of the cords, allowing plants full access to the sun. During the night, the drawbridge closes up, bringing the plants back into the interior space. The design includes a stand to transform the shutter into a sleek plant rack to tuck away into the corner of a room.

The designers originally showed the project as a prototype in Paris this May at design competition Jardin Jardin, where it received top honors. Now the team says they're figuring out how to commercialize the design.

Until it's on the market, we'll have to content ourselves with the photos and their stylish video.


Images courtesy of Barreau&Charbonnet

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