Plant Diary

Plant Diary: An Intelligent Interior Product Design for Your Plant

Designers: Subin Kim, Sangsu Jang, James A. Self, Young-Woo Park

Description: With increasing urban populations and reduced living spaces, the use of indoor plants is growing. Moreover, in busy urban lives the cultivation of pot-plants provides both physical home enrichment and psychological peace of mind. However, with the work and time pressures of an urban life, it is not always easy to manage the health of indoor plants. Through optimal humidity and temperature management, Plant Diary provides a design-driven solution through a smart, IoT approach. To achieve this, Plant Diary’s sensor array is easily placed into the plant pot, cyclically providing information on plant humidity and temperature. This is then communicated to the Plant Diary application through the user’s smart device by Bluetooth connection. Based on the information received the application analyses the state of the plant, providing user prompts and notices: ‘water me’, change my solid’, ‘I need Nutrients’. Plant Diary’s power is supplied through an eco-friendly solar panel charger. Once the user places the sensor into the charger, a magnet is connected and charging commences. In a design driven approach, Plant Diary’s sensors provide a metaphoric and emotionally playful appeal. The base charger also references a more natural product personality through the innovative use of concrete materials.

Keywords: Plant Caring; IoT (Internet of Things); Pot; Humidity; Temperature; Concrete;

Design Brief: Existing pot-plant product solutions are uncomfortable and require frequent changing. Through a design-driven approach (taking careful consideration of materials and product aesthetic), design a smart, IoT solution for the urbanite user. Plant Diary is an interesting example of how technology and design aesthetic (product personality) may co-exist to offer an appropriate and desirable product. An example of how core product design competencies may interface with emergent technologies and their potential benefits.  

Process: Our starting point was a desire to integrate smart technological opportunities with a deep sensitivity to aesthetic appear as a product for the domestic environment. To achieve these aims we first explored current products within this space. Shortcoming and user needs were then identified. Both technological and aesthetic considerations (through expertise provided by the various team members) were considered together. Development continued towards the expression of the product concept as high-fidelity prototype with both form and technical functionality.

Target Market: Busy urbanites with limited time and space, but who have a desire to freshen their home environment through the cultivation of potted plants.