Gardening in the city is full of challenges. Small spaces and limited resources mean that the chance to enjoy a green outdoor area can be difficult to achieve.

Enter Ikea.

Together with SPACE10, the flatpack furniture superstore have come up with the ultimate design to solve all of these problems. Their solution is elegant, easy to construct and requires three things: plywood, a couple of rubber hammers and access to a laser cutter.

This is The Growroom.

How does The Growroom work?  

The Growroom is essentially a freestanding sphere with a small footprint that can be constructed anywhere with relative ease. The curve of the frame allows for seating inside the sphere and the plants on the outside to get enough light and water to grow. This way the Growroom acts as an outdoor shelter for you and the perfect growing space for your plants. Genius!

The Growroom full of plants

Image: Business Insider

The original version used a metal frame but in their recent reimagining, the team created a design that would only require plywood for construction. This makes the design accessible and affordable for most communities, but it also makes the sphere more aesthetically pleasing.

Open Source Design for Laser Cutters

With the design for The Growroom complete, figuring out how to bring their idea to the masses required some more innovative thought. As the aim of The Growroom was to encourage people to grow their own food for environmental reasons, shipping would be detrimental to their aims. On their blog the team explain:

‘It doesn’t make sense to promote local food production and then start shipping it across oceans and continents. That is why we now release The Growroom as an open source design and encourage people to build their own locally as a way to bring new opportunities to life.’

Providing an online open source design means that anyone can access the CNC cutting files available on With these files, you can then go to your local laser cutting specialists and have the parts cut for you.

With these pieces, the design is fairly straightforward, with only 17 steps to work through. Full instructions can be found on their webpage.

Innovative Laser Cut Design

Constructing The Growroom

Image: Business Insider

Using open source designs means that anybody can have access to create the product for themselves for free. It also opens a forum for people to discuss their own modifications to the design or any challenges they encountered and how they overcame them.

Working like this is a good idea for any designer as this is an effective way to iron out any issues there may be with a design. As laser cutting is a relatively cheap and efficient method, and plywood is also easy to come by at a low cost, this design is accessible to all sorts of people all over the world.

Of course, laser cutters can cut all sorts of different materials to an incredibly small tolerance meaning that this design doesn’t necessarily have to be cut in plywood. You could experiment with brightly coloured mild steel or aluminium for a different effect.

Whatever your design, whichever your material, with a laser cutter, you can achieve your ambitions.