Planter Module

Development of an accessible and flexible planter module for shared greenhouses


This master thesis describes the process and outcome of a product development project that concerns a growing container for cultivation in community-shared greenhouses. The project was carried out at Chalmers University of Technology by Elina Lindqvist and Anna Lindahl, master students at the programme Industrial Design Engineering.

Growing vegetables in cities is a global trend, and shared greenhouses are increasingly common in urban areas. The purpose of shared greenhouses is both to facilitate cultivation, and to serve as social meeting places that create a feeling of community and identity among neighbors. Research shows that there are many positive effects from the existence of strong local communities; it reduces crime, increases the feeling of safety, builds a sense of belonging and identity, and a strong support network can actually improve people’s health.Moreover, with a basis in an unsustainable global food situation and system, with increasing demands for food
production and at least 75 % of our food’s biodiversity being lost due to industrialized agriculture, the visionary aim of the development of the product was to encourage and contribute to environmental sustainability by facilitating and encouraging urban farming and promote raised awareness and sustainable attitudes towards food.

The goal was therefore to develop a product that facilitates and encourages the activity of growing vegetables in a shared greenhouse, intended for housing associations in the city. Characteristics of the intended user group and use context were investigated through a variety of data collection methods, including inter- views, observations and questionnaires. The collected information was organized and analyzed, and subsequently translated into requirements and guidelines for concept development.

The end result was a flexible and accessible planter module that fits into the greenhouse environment and enables everyone to take part in the activity of cultivation. The planter module allows the user to work in an ergonomic height, is soil efficient and easy to empty. It provides seating possibilities to encourage socialising in the greenhouse, and is movable to suit different needs and green- house layouts.

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