Nature Cots

Portable Beds for Urban Nature

Gone Fishing – Urban Archipelago Retreat

Gone Fishing – Urban Archipelago Retreat

Gone Fishing is a portable archipelago retreat where you can enjoy solitude and aquatic nature in an urban environment. You can sit on the pier, dip your feet in the water and play a mixed reality fishing game. When you put on the provided glasses, the infinity pool style pond changes into an immersive archipelago view. With the fishing game you can catch virtual fish and learn about the local aquatic flora and fauna. When you pull the fishes up, you generate energy for the pond’s water filtration system. There’s only space for one person at a time so you can relax in solitude even in a bustling city.

The Gone Fishing pond has a multi-node system for keeping the water clean. Under the pier module there is a solar powered water pump that circulates the water through a biological filter and an ultraviolet clarifier. A solar powered fountain keeps the water moving to keep algae out. There are also barley straw brickets attached to the planter modules. The barley slowly decomposes and releases a chemical which prevents algae growth. The incorporated trees and bushes with their shading effect and the chosen aquatic plants with their nutrition absorption and help in keeping the water clean. There’s little need for maintenance during the summer season.

The pond structure consists of the lightweight steel pool and planter modules that can be easily lifted out when the pond needs to be moved or cleaned. All the modules are relatively small so no heavy duty lifts are necessary. Move the empty pool to where it’s needed, pop in the planter units, the rocks and the pier with the fishing module and then: just add water.

The Gone Fishing pond creates a pleasant micro-climate to the area around it by absorbing heat during the day and releasing it during the night. The pond creates an important hot spot for the local wildlife too: birds and insects, although unable to play the MR fishing game, enjoy the water and can expand their habitat to new urban areas.

During the winter season the pond transforms into a winter station. More on that to come, but right now, Gone Fishing!

Moss Mobile

Moss Mobile

Moss Mobile is a kinetic nature installation for a shadowy area. A selection of pleurocarpous and acrocarpous mosses grow on fabric that is tensioned over a lightweight steel frame.

The Mobile can be suspended between existing structures such as buildings. The spiral is connected to the suspension cables through a bearing system so its free to spin with wind. The Mobile gets irrigation from a drip tube that is connected to the roof drainage of an adjacent building. Excess water is taken back to the the drainage system by another small hose. Since moss does not need soil, it is a perfect fit for a lightweight, suspended installation.

The Moss Mobile brings an interesting green element to areas where other types of vegetation are not feasible for example due to lighting conditions.

Deadwood Crown – Urban Biodiversity Booster

The Deadwood Crown is an urban biodiversity booster that consists of logs. It provides a home for many species of flora, fauna and fungi and a place for relaxation and reflection for us humans.

The Crown is composed of deadwood logs of different sizes and ages and in various stages of decay. The logs come from trees that are cut down in the urban area, for instance during park maintenance or when clearing a construction site. In a two year interval, new logs are added to the installation to maximise the diversity and to ensure the continuation of the decomposition processes. The logs are connected to each other with stainless steel bolts so that the whole installation is easy to dismantle and move to a new location if necessary.

The Crown provides a microhabitat for fungi, mosses and lichens, various insects and birds. It also works as a catalyst base station for the biosphere of nearby parks, balcony gardens and urban forests.

For the local residents the Crown provides a glimpse in to the natural cycles of growth-death-decomposition and nutrient cycling. It is interesting to watch the installation change through the years and to see which animals and plants find home in it. The Deadwood Crown is a biodiversity hotspot right at your doorstep.

Vine Wings – Rapid Deployment Nature

The Vine Wings is a vine installation that can be easily moved to an urban development site. The Wings work as ”rapid deployment nature” that can add volume to the urban nature of a new area, fast. It can be also placed next to a construction site wall to ameliorate the disturbance caused by the construction work.

The Vine Wings consist of two steel trellis ”wings”, a planter pot with wheels and incorporated seating. The Wings can be easily rolled shut for transport and spread open in the new location. The diameter of the roll is designed to be rather large so that the vines don’t break during transport. The seating plate can stowed to an upright position and used as a handle when moving the installation to a new location. The Vine Wings brings a large urban green element in a small, convenient package.

My Wasteland Table

My Wasteland Table is a small bit of refreshing ruderal landscape for your patio or balcony. The table top is made of asphalt and steel rebars sourced from a local urban redevelopment area. The materials are cleaned up and seeds of local wild plants are planted in the cracks in the asphalt.

With the redevelopment of ruderal areas, cities sometimes become a bit sterile. In many cities the most interesting urban nature can actually be found in ruderal landscapes. These areas are also home for many important plants, some of them even endangered. Even the very small plants growing through the cracks in the pavement can be very interesting to look at. One has to wonder how well plants adapt to different harsh conditions, such as having a minimal amount of soil.

With the My Wasteland Table, you can bring home some interesting ruderal plants. As the plants are already adapted to surviving in the area, they need minimal care and attention. Just sit back, relax and enjoy!

Permaculture Cone – Spiral Planter
Permaculture Cone

Permaculture Cone – Spiral Planter

The Permaculture Cone has a spiralling design that creates a wide range of different conditions ideal for different plants. The top of the spiral is optimal for plants that like sun and cope with relatively dry soil. On the bottom parts there are spots for plants that thrive in shade and moisture. The cone can be watered at the top and gravity takes care of moving the water down. The cone is made of thin sheets of stainless steel and is very light considering the volume and the large area of the plantable soil surface.

The Portable Farm

The Portable Farm is a small planting installation that can be moved between different locations. It consists of five portable planting beds and a thermo pot for a small tree.

The prototype of the Farm will be built in Maijala service center for the elderly in Kangasala, Finland. Together with the residents of the center we will plant flowers, useful plants and a family apple tree. The apple tree has four different apple varieties in the same tree. All the plant containers are in a convenient height for planting and lightweight for easy portability. The Portable Farm brings natural experiences to a place where they are not normally found. After the summer the planting equipment, the plants and containers will stay at the center so that they can be used again next year.

The project is generously sponsored by Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu and funded by Kone Foundation and The Finnish Culture Foundation. Thank you!

Fountain-To-Go – With Live Plants

Fountain-To-Go is a small water feature you can take with you on a picnic. It has a solar powered fountain and a beautiful array of wetland plants. The plants are placed in felt pouches connected to the water so you don’t have to water them.

The Fountain is easy to maintain: remove the plant pouches, wash the bucket, add new water and put the pouches back. For easy transportation, the fountain has a detachable carrying handle and a lid that prevents spills.

Adding a fountain to your balcony, yard or a local park is a great way to boost local wildlife: birds and butterflies will enjoy it. And they will also make your urban scenery and soundscape more vivid. Birdsongs, anyone? Just take the Fountain-To-Go with you, sit back and relax!

Do-It-Yourself assembly instructions on the way, stay tuned!

Construction Site Living Wall

Construction Site Living Wall is a collection of green wall solutions for construction sites.  There are zero maintenance moss walls for shade oriented walls and adopt-a-wall green walls that can be planted and cared for by local residents. Using these wall elements, construction sites can make a positive addition to the surrounding neighborhood. They can spice up the local community and the local ecology!

The Leaf Blinds

The Leaf Blinds combines house plants with window blinds. Many window blinds are closed almost all the time. Wouldn’t it be nice to use something organic and living for cover and shade, instead of cold metal sheets?

The Leaf Blinds is a relaxing indoor element with its visual reference to natural tree foliage.  The Blinds consist of vine plants, such as ivy or golden pathos, and a hanging planting pot. The height of the system can be adjusted manually or automatically to accommodate to changing lighting conditions. In addition to providing shade and cover the Leaf Blinds also purifies the indoor air. The Leaf Blinds adds a beautiful touch of nature to any indoor space.

Inspiration images from Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden conservatories in Helsinki.

The Balcony Meadows

The Balcony Meadows is a collection of lightweight grass floor modules that can be installed to any concrete balcony or patio. Many different grasses, mosses and sedums can be grown in the grass modules. The modules are designed for active use, so you can walk and sit on them.

The modules consist of

  1. Synthetic, flexible bottom layer with pockets for water retention. The bottom membrane helps in keeping the soil irrigated.
  2. Fabric layer that keeps the soil in place and protects the bottom layer from plant roots while letting moisture through.
  3. Soil layer with specifically designed, lightweight and water retentive soil.
  4. Wood frame that stands on adjustable rubber feet and holds the module together.

There are two sizes of grass modules, 60 x 60 cm and 30 x 30 cm both with the height of 7 cm. There’s also a 20 cm high plant module that measures 30 x 30 cm. It has enough root space for flowers, herbs and ground cover plants. The modules can be combined freely to create countless different layouts. Picnic on a balcony, anyone?


The Parking Thicket

The Parking Thicket is a movable mini forest built into a used car. The Thicket has a diverse selection of local plants and features also a small pond. The frame of the car is stripped down and reinforced to withstand the load of the soil, water and the plants.  The Thicket can easily be towed to any area with a parking space. A touch of wild nature to the concrete & asphalt city!

The Dancing Orchards

The Dancing Orchards is a matrix of planters that move independently through a programmed route. The system can be installed on a public square or other large open space with even surface.

The Dancing Orchards is an energy independent system: The Orchard units have intergrated, sun tracking 0.18 kWp solar panels that load up the batteries. The battery powered electric engines move the Orchard units up to 1 km a day.

The Orchards move very slowly and have visual and proximity sensors to avoid collisions. The system can be programmed to adopt a wide variety of different formations from a Row formation, through a circular Lagoon and dispersed Archipelago formations to a dense Pangea forest. The Orchards dance: they cycle periodically through the different formations.

The Orchards have integrated seating that can be used even when the system is on the move. The seating and planter parts are made of environment friendly OrganoWood. OrganoWood is wood that is protected against fire and funghi by a process that mimics the natural fossilisation process.

The Orchards feature multiple varieties of apple trees, raspberry bushes, strawberries and many native plants for everyone to enjoy. The system also cleans up after itself: the Orchard units have rotating brushes and integrated compost bins to collect fallen fruit.

The Dancing Orchards bring a new engaging element to urban nature. Their dance adds an ever changing element to the urban space that is interesting to watch and also to engage with. Sitting on the integrated seating you might start sitting alone and eventually find yourself next to the love of your life.

The Butterfly Sphere

The Butterfly Sphere acts as an urban base station for insects. The sphere has features that attract insects, butterflies and pollinators and features that provide a pleasant habitat for them.

It has a wide range of flowers and plants that blossom in phases throughout the whole summer season. The phasing allows the sphere to be functional for many different species during different times of the summer.

Water and moist sand allow hydration and bathing for birds, butterflies and other insects. Water elements also help in creating a pleasant micro climate around the sphere. A sun powered fountain can be installed in the water tank to add a pleasant murmur and natural soundcape.

Different sized cavities in the side of the sphere provide premises for an insect hotel. Larger entry in the base of the sphere provides a winter home for a hedgehog.

Spread a network of these out around the neighbourhood and the nature will flourish!

Movable Bilberry Pad

The Movable Bilberry Pad brings a taste of the Finnish forest to the city, with edible berries to pick! The Pad consists of fresh heath forest floor transplanted into movable planter modules. The Bilberry Pad can bring enjoyment and multisensory nature experiences to people who cannot access a forest.

The array of plants in the Pad includes bilberries, lingonberries, crowberries, different ferns, mosses, bunch grass and spruce. They all add to the haptic experience: the pad can be seen, smelled, tasted and interacted with. Also fauna has found its way to the pad: birds, ants and long legged spiders bustle around the plants just like in a real forest.

The Pad modules are designed to be quite high for accessibility: the berry picking can be done sitting, standing or even lying in a bed. The small module size makes the modules easy to move and the modular system allows different layouts for every occasion. The Pad can also be moved indoors at a hospital or service center so that bedbound people can enjoy it too.

The first version of The Bilberry Pad was built for the Services for the Elderly in Kangasala, Finland. When the bilberries grew ripe at the beginning of August, Mieluisa organized a berry picking event for the residents of the Maijala Service Center. The event was a warm occasion with lots of discussions about old berry picking memories.

The Bilberry Pad project was funded by Kone Foundation and The Finnish Cultural Foundation. Also Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu were essential for generously providing the Siberian larch for the containers and the bilberry heath transplant. New versions of the Bilberry Pad are on the way for 2018.