Ainsley Foster Microstack: microgreen grower for compact living spaces

  • Tauira / Student
    Ainsley Foster
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Yueyun Song, Lyn Garrett, Rodney Adank, Jason Mitchell

Microstack is a micro-greens grower for compact spaces with growing trays, storage container and chopping board integrated into the overall design. This keeps everything needed to grow and prepare microgreens in one place.

Microstack grew from an exploration into compact living in New Zealand and the effect our surroundings can have on our mental health. Secondary research identified that people living in high density housing have a higher chance of developing mental health issues. Cultivating and nurturing plants has many benefits, and I wanted to design a product that encourages users to grow and cultivate their own food, beneficial for both mental and physical health.

Microstack is intuitive, compact and doesn’t intrude when space is limited, using a hydroponic system that allows users to leave the plants unattended for a longer period of time. The water reservoirs allow the plants to sustain themselves for 1-2 weeks. This makes it easy to use while still encouraging the user to be hands-on and engaged with the health of their plants.

Growth of the microgreens can be staggered between each tray to allow a continuous supply. Each tray contains about 2-3 servings of microgreens so this product would be suit for 1-2 people. The subtle texture on the surface directs the user to touch it and swivel the product open. These moving layers and aesthetic design features set Microstack apart from existing products that take a more utilitarian approach. Microstack is both practical and a statement piece for the home.