Plants Out Of Place by Coloni and Studio Aikieu
An exhibition by Swedish gardening house Coloni and trend forecaster Studio Aikieu will celebrate the potential of "undesirable" and wild-growing species in towns and cities.
The venue will host a series of talks and workshops, which will encourage visitors to learn more about weeds and how people might be able to utilise them more in the future.
A weed is a plant out of place, the project seeks to engage with the wider communities to reconsider the value of wild plants and how we may utilise them to design for a better future, how we can create a more sustainable way of living in the 21st century.
As the world's population expands and climate change continues we will need to look to our feral cousins for survival.
Lee recently published a book called Material Alchemy, which explores the future of materials and highlighted a contemporary interest in "the narrative and provenance of a material and how we are going back to the past to design for the future." Her research led her to plants and in turn weeds. These under-valued plants are overlooked due to the negative connotations given by society. This insight has led them to curate a unique event that enabled designers from different backgrounds to respond to a common theme to enable the public to see, experience and be inspired hopefully leading to a wider appreciation of these undervalued species.
Self-watering systems for automatic plant maintenance by Pikaplant
Amsterdam design company Pikaplant has developed a collection of self-watering products aimed at making plant-keeping easier. Three products currently make up the range, including a self-watering shelving system named One, a houseplant tray with a self-releasing reservoir called Tableau, and a water-recycling biotope titled Jar.
Designed to automatically feed the plants on three separate shelves, Pikaplant One releases water from a transparent tank that sits on top of the unit, feeding the plants when needed.
Monitored automatically by a wet-dry cycle, the process is controlled by a single-valve system.
The analogue system integrates a humidity sensor and actuator – when a shelf contains a certain amount of water, it blocks the water flow.
When the plants have absorbed all of the water and the shelf has been dry for a few days, the valve opens and water flows down into the shelf again.
Reminiscent of a terrarium, the Pikaplant Jar seals plants within an airtight glass vessel with the nutrients they require in order to survive.
Hand-selected for their adaptable nature, the plants create and recycle their own water supply within the biotope. They never have to be watered and can last up to a year.
The brand worked with a glassblower to create the transparent vat, which is placed next to the plants on the tray. Herbs, flowers and crops can all be grown using the Tableau system, with enough room to accommodate up to four plants.
MPGMB's homeware includes terracotta cacti pots based on desert forms
A set of stacked terracotta planters, colourful geometric hand-held mirrors and ombre-glazed vases are among the homeware products included in the debut collection by Canadian design duo MPGMB
I think glass would be a very interesting material to experiment with in this project, I will go visit some glassblowing studios and maybe take a few lessons to understand the crafting process. I think the idea of personalised air is beautiful as each plant is unique so the air inhaled will be fresh and bespoke to the user.
Growth by Begum and Bike Ayaskan
Royal College of Art graduates Begum and Bike Ayaskan have designed a plant pot with a complex origami form, which enables it to unfold and accommodate more space for roots over time.
Growth is a collection of flowerpots made of polypropylene, machined with a computer numerically controlled (CNC) router into a cylinder made up of tessellating triangles.
Each vessel can expand to over five times its original volume, either naturally as the roots push outwards or as a result of human intervention, making the process of re-potting unnecessary.
A similar concept was used by designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso when creating a flexible flower pot that can double in capacity.
"There is a strong disconnect between nature and the environments we are used to and comfortable in as humans," said the designers, who are twins. "The spaces and objects we build and surround us with are very static. In nature, everything evolves, adapts, grows, blooms, degrades, dies, gets absorbed, reused."
"We wanted to contemplate the relationship between nature and the manufactured object, and find a way to merge the two together," they added.
To do this, the pair looked into methods that would enable transformation in three dimensions, and it quickly became apparent that origami held the answer.
A mesh made from the same material is attached to the base, allowing water drainage.
The pot starts off in its folded form, ready for a small plant to be homed inside.
The designers estimate that a small tree would normally need re-potting at least three to four times in its lifetime, but Growth enables the plant to have "a sense of freedom" because its pot does not inhibit its development.
"We wanted to show that even a very simple object, like a plant pot, could be improved and changed by understanding its life cycle and implementing behaviour patterns through geometry and structure," said the designers.
Growth was presented at this year's Show RCA graduate exhibition in London, where a staircase that straps to a tree trunk and speakers made from a new material comprising plant fibres and naturally fermented cellulose were also on display.
The idea of a tree by Mischer and Traxler
The project is an autonomous production process which combines natural input with a mechanical process. It is driven by solar energy and translates the intensity of the sun through a mechanical apparatus into one object a day.
The outcome reflects the various sunshine conditions that occur during this day. Like a tree the object becomes a three dimensional recording of its process and time of creation.
The machine 'Recorder One' starts producing when the sun rises and stops when the sun settles down. After sunset, the finished object can be 'harvested'.
It slowly grows the object, by pulling threads through a colouring device, a glue basin and finally winding them around a mould.
The length/height of the resulting object depends on the sun hours of the day. The thickness of the layer and the colour is depending on the amount of sun-energy. (more sun = thicker layer and paler colour; less sun=thinner layer and darker colour)
The process is not just reacting on different weather situations, but also on shadows happening in the machine’s direct surrounding. Each cloud and each shadow becomes important for the look of the final object.
Various the 'idea of a tree' - objects are possible.
The concept of introducing natural input into a serial production process suggests a new way of looking at locality. This 'industrialised locality', is not so much about local culture, craftsmanship or resources, instead it deals with climatic and environmental factors of the process' surrounding. On a series of objects you can tell somehow the place of production. On the equator, for example, the objects would always have the same height/length, whilst in North- and Middle Europe, the seasons help shaping the objects. In countries with a lot of rain the objects would be darker and thinner whilst in sunnier regions the objects would be paler but thicker.
For us ‘the idea of a tree’ is an idealistic vision on how machines combined with nature can produce great results, - an idea of industrial halls with daylight and manufacturing within natural rhythms.
Precarious playground structures by Capucine Diancourt
Dutch Design Week 2015: French designer Capucine Diancourt's series of unconventional playground equipment includes non-fixed rocking items that challenge children to keep their balance.
Each of the seven steel Loose Play structures rests on curved bases, causing them to freely rock back and forth – as opposed to typical playground equipment which is set into the ground.
The usual see-saw has been reinterpreted as a single cylinder, with steel rods emerging from either side with seats on the end.
Another larger structure has a central walkway resting on a banana-shaped base. Smaller toys have single seats with attached circular handlebars, resting on semi-circular supports that resemble the bases of rocking chairs.
"The playfulness of Loose Play lies in the balancing systems, created by simple curves."
"I just wanted to create the shapes and see what happens," she told Dezeen. "Sometimes it's not realistic, but that's also how you can picture new shapes and new interactions and that's what I was interested in."
Steel tubes naturally appear as a relevant choice, thanks to its amazing bending properties. This material also conveys the identity of our urban daily environment, which was important for the project."
The designer chose an "unstandardised range of colours" for the playground equipment, avoiding the usual choice of primary hues. Green is applied to bases and structural elements, and pink is used for flat seating areas.
Not directly related to circadian rhythms but the connotation of balance subtly implies that all living organisms on this planet is adjusted to a 24 hour natural cycle of day and night. I really like the choice of colour in the structure, a gender neutral toy for children.
Kinetic installation for Champagne brand Perrier-Jouët by Mischer and Traxler
Viennese design duo Mischer'Traxler has unveiled a kinetic installation for Champagne brand Perrier-Jouët featuring a table covered in plants that disappear as visitors approach.
Part of the Ephemer? installation at the Design Miami fair this week, the oak tabletop sprouts a variety of two-dimensional forms representing plants and insects when nobody is near. These elements withdraw into the table or flatten themselves against its top when people approach.
The table is made of oak and on top there are water jet-cut metal elements resting in a laser-cut surface. Each of the elements is connected to a motor hidden beneath the table top. Around the table there are ultrasonic sensors that detect when people get too close and the elements on the table top become flat.
Champagne is always a moment of celebration that you enjoy but it's always melancholic as well, because you know the moment is going to end, although you have the hope that the moment will come again," said Traxler. "So we wanted to play on this moment."
The species that are used on the table and on the mirror area all related to real species. Some are extinct and some are very common plants that can be found all over the planet, while others are newly discovered species. So it's also about the impact of humanity on nature, and the impact we have.
Philips Living Colour Lamp
In 2012 Philips launched the Philips Hue system. It's a set of three intelligent lights that, along with the Bridge connected to your home Wi-Fi system, allows for colour and brightness control of the lights from a smartphone or tablet.
Almost two years on and the system has seen numerous software updates, plus an expansion into what the system includes. From that original starter kit through to a range of different light bulbs and devices that all help enhance the lighting in your room.
The Philips Hue system consists of a variety of different bulbs or lights and they are the core element to the experience.
You can select from 16 million colour options from within the app, whether from presets, a colour chart on screen, or by picking out colours in pictures. Bulbs within the system can be individually controlled if you choose, or controlled in combination.
Air Culture lab by Sarah Daher
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Sarah Daher has proposed harnessing airborne molecules released by plants to create pockets of personalised air that could provide health benefits when inhaled.
Daher's conceptual Air Culture lab uses inputs such as changing light, temperature, humidity and water to encourage plants to release specific compounds into the surrounding environment.
"?Air Culture is an interdisciplinary project in between design and science; technology and nature," said Daher. "It is a starting point to question the value of air, and propose a more amplified vision of plants in a future scenario where their volatile emissions become part of our daily lives."
She suggests that the air could be "enriched" with these chemicals, which have a positive impact on both physical and psychological wellbeing, depending on the species used.
"While researching those compounds I found out that most of them have high pharmaceutical value due to their chemical properties and an impact on our health," said Daher. "We usually harvest the plants to extract those compounds."
"Plants will start to synthesise those compounds under specific circumstances as a response to environmental stimuli," she added. "If the environment changes, plants' chemistry will also change."
The lab comprises a glass plant chamber, water pump and air pump, used to control the conditions surrounding the flora. The chamber is designed to harvest the air so it can be siphoned off and shared with people in bags.
She has also created a concept design for sharable capsules, that would be opened with glass pipe-shaped "air cutlery" and inhaled by the user.
"In the future we will taste and experience air the same way we already do with food and drinks," said Daher.
The designer chose to experiment with rosemary, after finding scientific studies that reveal some of its compounds could function as a "brain tonic" – sharpening mental acuity and increasing concentration.
Her system is intended to create the optimum conditions for the plant to release the specific compounds.
"Acknowledging plant's chemical vocabulary might not only change the way we relate to plants but also the way we perceive and consume air," she added.
Although still in a conceptual phase, Daher hopes to deliver the idea on a larger scale, for example in public spaces and the infrastructure of buildings, which could use plant-technology systems to enhance inhabitants' wellbeing.
I like how these plant pots are designed to expand so the plant can grow freely and no transfer/re potting is needed. But it is still ironic because the plants are living in a domesticated environment so it can still affect its natural circadian rhythm.
Day and Night Light by Eléonore Delisse
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Eléonore Delisse has created a lamp to counter seasonal affective disorder by displaying different colours at different times of day.
Delisse's Day and Night Light uses different wavelengths of light to create varying colours, intended to help regulate the body's circadian rhythm.
Changes in this rhythm triggered by falling lights level in autumn and winter can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a cyclic form of depression that affects millions of people every year.
"The ultimate wellbeing is to wake up happy and sleep peacefully at anytime of the year," Delisse told Dezeen. "And yet winter blues play a big role in our mood."
Delisse designed the lamp as her graduate project at Design Academy Eindhoven, in response to what she saw as the lack of considered, design-led solutions for SAD.
"All the existing solutions to SAD focus on the intensity of light," said Delisse. "I was interested to look at this from another perspective. Not only by being only exposed to certain lux levels but by having a coloured rhythm that influences your brain behaviour."
To create the different colours, the LED light source embedded in the lamp's pear-wood body shines through a rotating glass disk. The glass is dichroic, so it displays different colours in changing light conditions or depending on the angle of view.
Suspended on two brass fixings and powered by a motor, the disk rotates to coincide with different times of day, altering the colour of light it reflects.
"Different colours of light affect the body in different ways," said the designer. "The Day and Night Light is a device to understand time differently and regulate our circadian cycle accordingly."
A blue light in the mornings lessens the body's production of the melatonin hormone that stimulates wakefulness, while an amber light in the evenings triggers melatonin production to make the user feel sleepy.
The light source is hidden in the curve of the lamp's body, which is slotted into a block of marble to weigh it down. The flat piece of wood has a half-circle removed so the glass disk can rotate freely.
I love the combination of both natural and mechanical process in the piece, which can be translated into lighting, chairs and all kinds of furniture. This closely relates to my project title Circadian rhythms because every organism on this planet follows a natural 24 hours cycle. This piece portrays the transition between day and night through the different tones of fibres.
After one day of winding the cotton structure can be 'harvested' off the machine. A few days, later the dried piece is finished by hand and a label, telling day and place of production, is placed on the evening side of the object.
Nap Gap room by Jürgen Mayer H
Berlin architect J Mayer H has created a room filled with glowing pink light and ambient pink noise to explore how sleeping patterns could become "more nomadic" in the future.
His suggestion is that in the future, as the boundaries between work time and social time become blurred, the boundaries between sleeping and waking time will also become more flexible. He calls the concept "sleeping around".
The concept is that we break out of these solid patterns of sleep and work, and work is more nomadic and life is more nomadic, so we need to redefine the sleep cycle and the sleep moments.
"Sleeping around becomes a new term," he added. "It's about really finding these moments of momentary retreat, and then you're back in life."
Mayer H's installation is designed especially for napping. Unlike other sleeping rooms designed for workplaces, like the popular Sleepbox, this is not a silent space and instead features a sound system that pumps out pink noise, which is understood to be sleep inducing.
Like white noise, pink noise contain all the frequencies that are audible to humans. However the power per hertz decreases as the frequency increases, creating a full-octave sound that masks low-frequency background noise.
"There is a whole science now of different noises – there's white noise, brown noise, orange noise – and they're all different frequencies. But the pink noise is the one that somehow relates the best to sleep," said Mayer H, whose latest research has been centred around the architecture of sleep.
"If white noise blocks out all environmental sounds, then pink noise is the one that is closest to natural sounds, like rain, or leaves in the wind, it is the one that is perfect for sleep-relative brain stimulation."
Mayer H says he would be keen to introduce a sleeping room in his studio. "America is more on the forefront than Germany for having sleep rooms for people working," he said.
"I think 45-minute naps are a rhythm that's pretty good and works with your sleeping cycles. Ten minutes is also very good, but everything between 45 and 90 minutes is very difficult, because you're in deep REM zones and you don't known where you are, and that makes it more difficult to come back."
Drawing time by Mischer and Traxler
This project is a wall installation that visually records the passage of time. It is a clock that tells the time and by doing so draws spirographical circles on the wall. Each day two spirograph patterns appear. One complex outline for the passed minutes and a simpler one, for the passed hours. After 24 hours the device moves randomly to another spot on the wall and continues recording its existence. This randomness is just as the uncertainty of the future, leaving space for surprises. Day by day the wall fills up with the graphical patterns allowing to imagine the slowly overlapping graphical composition in some weeks, a year, a decade… A positive thought of long term planning and a belief in a future.
"'Drawing Time' invites us to think about the various means of perception through which all individuals record passing time and, more specifically, the concepts of growth,development, repetition and proliferation referred to a definite time span.”
O clock by Wout Wolf Stroucken
Displaying time through colour. Every hour of the day is a different hue, making a total of 24 colours. A full hour is a full circle. Within a hour the next colour grows out of the centre outwards like the rings of a tree. Besides colour, O clock tries to display a more ‘human’ time. The ancient greeks described this as Kairos: the time that you’re delve into an actionso deep that you don’t think about time passing anymore. These moments are for reflection or the realisations that come when you don’t plan on it. A traditional clock displays the whole spectrum of daily time with stripes and numbers. All 1440 minutes of the day are displayed within a fragment of a circle. Because they display the full spectrum, clocks always shows what is to come and what has past. O Clock only shows one hour at a time and communicates the information through the intuitive language of colour. O clock has been developed as an mobile application and as physical wall objects. Placing the design within both the digital and the physical domain.
Biophilia ceramic pots by Stoft
Swedish design studio Stoft has created a range of organically shaped ceramic plant pots that can nestle inside one another.
Each of the vessels in the four-piece Biophilia line represents a different stage in a plant's life – from seedpod to bloom – with the shapes taking reference from the forms of each. At a first glance the objects seem very ill-matched, perhaps like the seed before it blossoms or like a chestnut inside its shell, but at a closer view one can notice how the all have evolved from a common origin and form a unity.
The dark grey Capsula stoneware bowl resembles "the protective seedpod from which everything begins", while the white porcelain Petalis vase has a rippled neck to represent a plant about to blossom.
The shapes of branches are echoed in the oblong Truncus pitcher, which has two pipe-like openings at the top that can hold the tiny earthenware Spore vase – designed for seedlings.
Due to their decreasing width, each of the vessels can be stacked inside one another, creating multiple possible combinations.
Biophilia describes man's instinctive love and fascination for species, organisms and processes in nature.
The clay that for thousands of years has been shaped by nature has in this project formed new species. The collection symbolises how new production possibilities and collaboration models can be used to develop the handcrafted production and make it grow again.
Haft Sin ceramics by Hozan Zangana
Eindhoven designer Hozan Zangana has created a set of ceramics for the traditional Persian new year celebration based on the forms of the calligraphic Nastaliq script.
One of the rituals performed for Nowruz – literally translated as new year – is the setting of a Sofraye Haft Sin, which is a table or dining cloth laid with seven or more items starting with the letter S.
Zangana as a designer incorporates the blend between her background in Iraq and her life in the Netherlands. She comes from a culture with a long history that is full of traditions and customs. Her research has led her to go back in time, around 6000-7000 years ago. Culture and traditions are an important part of human existence, it makes things special and a celebration to look forward to annually, it relates to my research on annual events like Earth hour which encourages people to turn off their lights for 60 minutes to conserve the earth's electrical resources, I feel like my research is slowly directing me towards to making something memorable/ritual oriented.
Zangana created his Haft Sin set of nine pieces in brown, dark grey and light grey versions. A short rounded candlestick holder echoes the curves of letters, while more shallow bowls can be used to hold fruit or other small pieces of food.
Wider flatter vessels serve as plates, and have lines incised around the rim – mimicking single pen strokes. One of the pieces features a distinctive raised section in the middle, while taller vessels can be used to hold flowers or plants.
Caesarstone Movements collection by Philippe Malouin
London designer Philippe Malouin has formed a collection of geometric planters in a range of shapes, textures and colours using solid-surface material Caesarstone.
Malouin's Caesarstone Movements collection includes cuboid, cylindrical and pyramid-shaped vessels, which have a variety of surface textures, patterns and colours.
Here the designer demonstrates plants in a domesticated environment but with improved care through its design, but they haven't considered the effects of artificial light and how it affects the circadian rhythms of the plant. Plants are meant to grow in the wild, which is their natural habitat. The urban environment is not what its evolved to be in.
The Carnivora planters by Tim van de Weerd
Dutch designer Tim van de Weerd has unveiled a family of white porcelain planters that are supported by short limb-like protrusions.
The Carnivora collection has been designed as a follow-up to van de Weerd's Monstera plant pots, which balanced on long straggly legs that were meant to resemble dangling roots.
"Regular plant pots and planters are very static, rigid and don't give any credit to the natural origin of the plant," Van de Weerd told Dezeen. "To me they seem the ultimate form of cultivation."
"I wanted to design a plant pot that is more an extension of the plant rather than a separate object, cutting the plant off," he added.
The Carnivora planters feature glossy white cylindrical bodies that rest on short legs designed to look like they could move.
"Like their big brothers, the Carnivora are very playful and dynamic," said the designer. "These pots with small legs seem to wander off with their plants."
The vessels are available in different heights and each of the designs is subtly different, featuring three or four legs angled in different directions and arrangements.
The contrast between the natural plant and man made plant pot emphasises the disrupted cycles of the plants natural circadian rhythm, is there a way we can provide plants the best possible state to grow in when our environment is surrounded by the rise of urbanisation?
Indoor Gardening Project by Oslo design studio Anderssen & Voll
Anderssen & Voll designed a watering can with a long, precise spout and plant pots especially for cacti and herbs, as part of a collection of tools for indoor gardening.
The Norwegian duo chose to focus on the everyday ritual of gardening and the way of thinking that comes with it.
"Research has taught us that people who do gardening are happier than people who don't," said the designers.
"Either gardening makes you happy or you are more inclined to do gardening if you tend to be happier than the average. Anyways the conclusion is the same: gardening is pretty good."
"A big challenge was to pay as much respect to the plants that are going to live inside the products as to the people that are going to use them," Anderssen told Dezeen.
"At the same time, this dual consideration gave us the key inspiration for most of the items – especially the pots."
As part of the collection, standard plant pots have been adapted for indoor flora. The Herb Pots, which have a lip-like opening near their base, are designed for the fresh herbs that can be bought pre-potted from a supermarket.
"In our experience these herbs lead an unsafe existence once they hit the kitchen counter: heavily plucked and with no designated place to stay," said the designers. "The opening on the side allows you to water the roots rather than the soil and to pour away excess water 20 minutes after watering."
Cacti prefer to be watered directly into well-drained soil and their roots should never be standing in water. Therefore, Anderssen & Voll adapted the design of the New Mexico cactus pots by lifting the container on a short stem above the water-collecting disc.
The shape of the metal Min watering can – with a softly shaped wooden handle and elongated spout – was chosen for its pouring precision. "Indoor gardening is a miniature world," said Anderssen. "Clean, cultivated and controlled."
Anderssen & Voll also created a sculptural glass object with two stalks and bulbous ends. The Water Bulb filters liquid through the soil so it seeps slowly into the pot, in a similar way to a makeshift solution created with a plastic bottle turned upside down.
Blueware collection by Studio Glithero
A series of vases and tiles decorated with shadows of plants captured on photosensitive chemicals. Called Blueware Collection and produced for Vauxhall Collective, the surface decoration was produced using a technique similar to traditional blueprinting.
The floral patterns on the objects were created by attaching plants to their surfaces before exposing them to light, leaving the areas in shadow underexposed.
The project re-interprets the blueprinting process used to reproduce architectural drawings under the Vauxhall Collective's theme of 'reinventing British classics'.
A series of white vases and tiles were embedded with light reacting chemicals and a combination of floral specimens (including weeds from social housing projects) was arranged on the ceramic surfaces.
Exposed to UV light, the chemicals caused an intense colour transformation from white to Prussian blue. The process leaves a crisp white silhouette of the specimens, creating intricate floral designs on the deep blue background.
In 1840 chemist and botanist John Hershel invented the Blueprinting process, marking a development of early photographic techniques and offering to those pioneers an invaluable tool for documentation.