Sean Farrell of green screen company Mobilane explains how LivePicture – a living, breathing picture of plants – can enliven any wall, bringing a breath of fresh air to even the most compact interior or exterior space10 October 2013
Mobilane is breathing fresh air indoors and out with the launch of our latest innovation, LivePicture – a framed arrangement of plants that can be hung on either interior or exterior walls. The living ‘picture’ creates a striking, space-saving focal point, as well as offering a natural way to improve air quality.
We have launched LivePicture to meet the increasing demand for innovative and impressive ways to use interior and exterior plants, which have long been valued for the health benefits and sense of wellbeing they bring. Container planting no longer simply means potted plants; our LivePanels (living interior walls) and LivingWalls (living exterior plants) have been well received by the interior design, landscaping and construction sectors. Now LivePicture offers something similar but in a more concentrated way that can be used to add interest to any wall offering a sustainable, cost effective way of incorporating greenery into our urban environments.
This is how the ‘picture’ works. Each LivePicture features a built-in reservoir made of a specially developed nutritionally balanced mineral substrate able to support a wide variety of plant types, depending on available lighting and level of maintenance needed. Plants like Spathiphyllum alfetta (which belongs to the same family as the Peace Lily) and Ficus pumila (creeping fig) particularly lend themselves to the frame, and some food plants like herbs and salad. Measuring 112cm wide (plus 0.5cm for the frame), by 72cm (again with an additional 0.5cm for the frame), the frame is 10cm deep. The picture, which weighs around 30kg, is attached to the wall with three bolts; it requires no power and usually needs watering just once a month.
Hanging plants vertically in the framed style of a traditional picture creates a display that has continuous interest; it has movement and, of course, constantly changes as the plants grow and, in some cases, flower and then fruit. As well as providing visual interest, LivePicture offers other sensory interest through touch and smell.
Importantly, LivePicture brings health benefits. It can seem surprising that the environment inside a building can be more polluted than outside. Inadequate air conditioning, ventilation, emissions from computers, printers and paint all contribute towards the increase of carbon dioxide and particulate pollutants. To counteract this, plants used either inside or out can provide a pleasant humidity; remove carbon dioxide and particulate pollutants. The aesthetic and psychological benefits of vegetation is now well understood as research has shown plants can reduce stress, improve mood and increase productivity in the workplace.
LivePicture is also sustainable. Well maintained and watered as required, each display will last years with replacement plants readily available at very low cost – the frame and special reservoir comprising the largest set up costs of the product.
A LivePicture takes up little space and is quick to install, but the effect is stunning; the only preparatory work needed is the fitting of growing lights prior to installation for interior frames though it is important to get this aspect right. Lights can be mounted into the ceiling (flush), below the ceiling, or wall mounted.
The scope for including living pictures within interiors of buildings or on exterior walls is diverse. Because of their relatively small size and ease of installation, a LivePicture can enliven practically any bare wall. The plants can be varied across time creating a lasting focal point of interest from every sensory angle – taste, touch, smell, sight and even sound via the rustling of foliage. All this and LivePicture also lifts people’s mood and helps create the air we breathe.