Urban Seed Bombs: Next-Generation Green Ballistic Missiles

The term “seed bombing” has been used since the 1970s when the guerrilla gardening movement got its start. Since then, we’ve seen all sorts of inventive types of seed bombs. The original type was a condom filled with fertilizer, water and wildflower seeds, but most guerrilla gardeners use the entirely-natural kind made of simply mud, compost and seeds. Different recipes abound, but they’re all largely the same idea. So it’s kind of a big thing when someone comes along to redesign the seed bomb concept.

South Korean designer Jin-wook Hwang came up with this design for a completely new kind of seed bomb: one that could be used on a larger scale than the neighborhood-greening ones we’re used to. In his project portfolio, Hwang tells of the inspiration for his idea: “After The 2nd world war, Gale Halvorson, an American pilot, dropped candies in the name of hope for children in Berlin. The seedbomb is the bomb of hope like the candies of Gale Halvorson.” This new seedbomb isn’t meant to replace the neighborhood mud ball; rather, it’s intended for a larger scale.

Meant to be airdropped into arid environments, the seedbomb is actually a vessel carrying smaller seed capsules. When the bomb is released, it falls apart, scattering the seed capsules inside. Each capsule contains a small amount of soil and nutrients along with seeds. For the first stage of the plants’ lives, the seed capsules act as tiny greenhouses, protecting the fledgling plants.

As the plants grow, the seed capsules biodegrade. What’s left is a new crop of plants in an area that was once dry and void of vegetation. Hwang’s vision is to drop his seedbombs into areas where most humans would never think to start a garden. The idea is that by reforesting some of the world’s arid locations, we can improve not only the landscape, but the overall health of the planet.

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