What does it mean to grow a plant in space?
The initial ambition for this project was to rethink a simple everyday object for space: the vase. The vase is host to a complex ecological system, providing beauty and requiring attention. In space, the aesthetic and psychological impact of seeing and caring for a plant bears obvious benefits. Nasa has experimented with growing plants for consumption in space with their crop production system called “VEGGIE”. Though an important program, these plants are grown more for their practical potentials than their aesthetic benefits.
The object has some anthropomorphic qualities. Besides having “legs” and what appears to be “hair,” the object similarly represents the percentage of water that makes up a human body. In this way, the object forces us to consider the similarities between ourselves and the planet we were born on. The design of this vase accommodates two different forces of gravity (zero and hyper). Weighted feet will ensure the object always lands in a proper orientation as microgravity shifts the plane Spring loaded feet ease the landing, and compress during the peak of hyper gravitational force. With the potential energy of the springs loaded, the object is ready to “hop” into the air and float around once the gravitational force is removed.
As the object floats around, it will bear a resemblance to the satellite Sputnik. The legs slot into a resin printed leg holder which adheres to the bottom of the globe. The globe itself is double sealed with a clear baggie. It is filled with water and a white wick (visible in the background) takes water up to the plant. A battery-powered magenta-colored light will allow the photosynthetic process to occur in the absence of sunlight. The object will float around in this watertight clear acrylic box.