B. GAÏA PRIMARY FUNCTIONS
1- External functions
- Gaïa is an intelligent home-garden: its basic function is to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables indoor.
- Gaïa is modular. Modularity is very important as it has an impact on production, shipment, and most importantly on customer experience. Modularity makes installation at home easy and makes Gaïa upgradable. As you see, several module of Gaïa can be clipped on top of the others to adapt the food production to the needs of their family.
- Its shapes is practical for the daily life. It has to be easy to move from one place to another (for example to clean the room) and plants must be easy to access.
- Gaïa naturally fits our homes, it is designed to enter our kitchen or our living room. It is a stand-alone piece of furniture, we can put it on another piece of furniture, hang it on a wall or place it on the ground, alone or in between of two other pieces of furniture. It is easy to clean.
- Gaïa is elegant, even when there is no plant grown in it yet, customers are proud of having it in their interior.
--> there is no windows around the plants.
2- Internal functions
Let’s dive into one module of Gaïa.
The sketches and measures are given to have rough estimates of the size a Gaïa should more or less be.
- Approximate external measures for the module:
high: 40 cm
- Approximate internal measures for the module:
Those measures are more or less divided as following:
- Water tank is approximately 7L capacity.
- Soil refill is approximately 11L of soil. The soil has to be 9cm deep to allow roots to develop easily.
- The space comprised between the soil and the roof, where plants will be growing, is approximately 25cm
a. The lamp
On top of the Gaïa module, there is the light. It is made of LEDs lamps which are equally dispatched in order to illuminate the total surface of soil.
- The light will be easily movable by the users: indeed the plants need to have the light close enough to them. The users move it three times during the growing process. You can see on the picture above the three levels.
- Electric connexion: cables must be discrete or invisible.
Moreover the cable to plug Gaïa must be convenient.
- Temperature: in order to avoid overheat of the bulb, design must include heat dispersion techniques. For example, air must circulate around the LED, to cool it down.
b. The water tank
- One water tank has a capacity of 7 liters.
- Users will pour water through the water intake hole which will must probably be situated on the top of the Gaïa module. It must be easy to pour water through the intake hole.
- There will be a way to check the water level.
- Water pipe must be discrete or invisible.
- When two modules are assembled just like in this drawing, the water is poured on the top module and run from the top module to the bottom module through the waterproof mount or tube designed for it.
- The water tank and the soil refills will be interacting, this how the soil will be moisturized. There will be 12 holes between the soil and water tank, allowing for communication between them.
Gaïa light and water components must be properly isolated one from another, to avoid any security risk. Also think about a user who would place his Gaïa on surface not plane.
C. FUTURE FUNCTIONS OF GAÏA
Gaïa will evolve along the time. We would appreciate if those three elements are already included in the first product but they are not mandatory.
1- Roof, light and mounts can be dismantled
The roof, the mounts and the light of Gaïa could be taken off by the customers. They might want to dispose it close from their windows or on a veranda using natural light.
To do so, the designer will try to find an easy way for the customer to take apart the roof, mounts and lights of the top module (cf. modularity). Don’t forget: plants will still need to access water.
2- Additional modules
Mount could be extended with some extension mount to allow higher plants to grow.
Other modules will be sold later on with other functions than growing food.
3- Light sensor
The environment which surrounds the plants I very important for a good growth. This is why we want to include a light sensor to know when the plant needs more light exposition or when the plant already had enough natural light. According to the sensor the LED lamp will turn on or turn off to offer to the plant the exact quantity of light needed.
D. TECHNICAL ASPECTS
Materials used for Gaïa must be light & solid (target time of life: 5 years), and as much as possible biosourced & recyclable. Material chosen must be coherent with Gaïa mission and value. It must respect nature, be soft to touch and give a heart-warming feeling.
Gaïa production will be outsourced, therefore, according to the design choices we will chose different providers.
Gaïa must be easy to store, ship in containers and assemble. As much as possible, it needs to be a plug-and-grow device in order to improve the customer experience. Despite this, we would appreciate a system which is really easy to ship through mail.
Gaïa will be fully recyclable.