AR Enhanced Wall Plants: Escape Pod

Alex Berke

An environment of plants and mirrors that extends beyond the terrarium walls. 

The terrarium is wired with a light source for its plants.

It is lined with interior mirrors to amplify that light, as well as reflect its plants and create an illusion where they occupy more space.

Interior solar panels also absorb the light to drive power back into the wired system.*

An augmented reality view further mirrors the contents of the terrarium, and expands the small box of wall plants into a desert landscape.

The result is an energy efficient environment that transforms a small wall space into a larger expanse of plants.

The lights for the plants are on a 14hr on/10hr off cycle.

Small LEDs indicate which hour of the cycle the lights are in. One line of LEDs counts through the hours on, and another line of LEDs counts the hours off (in binary).


In the MIT Media Lab’s City Science group, there is an escape pod.

The escape pod is an exploratory platform for researchers to experiment with how the small spaces, that will be increasingly common in dense future cities, can be transformed.

The terrarium lives on a wall of the escape pod.

It is an experiment in transforming a wall panel of a small, enclosed room into an environment that extends beyond its physical walls.

See full documentation for its creation process and code here.