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Feed your entire neighborhood with this new garden idea from Ikea

Why it matters to you

As urban gardening becomes more and more important, projects like the Growroom from Ikea's Space10 will become increasingly salient.

Come for a salad, stay for the opportunity to provide meals for others. That appears to be the new mantra from Ikea and Space10, described as “a future-living lab on a mission to design a better and more sustainable way of living” from the Swedish furniture giant. Meet the latest project to come out of the Ikea Lab — it’s called The Growroom, and it’s described as “a spherical garden [that] empowers people to grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way.”

Last week, Space10 made The Growroom’s plans available for free, which means that if you want to create a DIY garden capable of feeding an entire neighborhood, you can just download the 17-step plan. Really, all you need is some plywood, rubber hammers, metal screws, seeds, and a green thumb.

The Growroom is meant to be used as a neighborhood garden, Space10 explains in a Medium post, noting that the 2.8 x 2.5-meter enclosure has but a small spatial footprint, allowing gardeners to grow their crops vertically. “It is designed to support our everyday sense of well being in the cities by creating a small oasis or ‘pause’-architecture in our high-paced societal scenery, and enables people to connect with nature as we smell and taste the abundance of herbs and plants,” Space10 wrote. “The pavilion, built as a sphere, can stand freely in any context and points in a direction of expanding contemporary and shared architecture.”

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If you’re used to Ikea products coming in boxes with rather difficult picture-based instructions, you’re in for a surprise if you opt to try out this new garden. When you download the necessary files for the structure, you’ll be given instructions to create the correctly sized plywood pieces, making use of a local fab lab workshop to do the cutting for you. Then, you’ll be able to put the pieces together using Space10’s free online instructions.

“From Taipei to Helsinki and from Rio de Janeiro to San Francisco, the original version of The Growroom sparked interest and people requested to either buy or exhibit The Growroom,” Space10 said. “That is why we now release The Growroom as open-source design and encourage people to build their own locally as a way to bring new opportunities to life.”