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Design Science

A New Hydroponic Planter Imprints Houseplants with Tessellating Root Systems

May 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Terraplanter

Bringing a design-based approach to indoor gardening, Terraplanter ensures that even those lacking green thumbs will be left with a beautiful, minimalist vessel if their plant-care skills aren’t quite adequate. When it’s in use, roots grip the lattice-like outside, which imprints their dense entanglements with a geometric pattern. The vegetation reveals its tessellating design when it’s removed.

The soil-free growing system has four planting methods: rubbing spores onto the surface, germinating seeds in the grooves, wrapping an already blooming vine around the pillar, or propagating a rooted plant by attaching it to the side. Water stored in the center of the vessel then diffuses through the porous material, hydrating the roots and ensuring they require little maintenance.

Because of its unique design, Terraplanter exposes root growth as it occurs, while securing it on the exterior. “We believe in nature-inspired-technology, we love plants, and we see things differently. Bound together with a passion for natural material, plants, and ecological products, we combined our knowledge and experience to create a user-friendly product and an optimal solution for plants to thrive indoors,” the New York-based company said in a statement.

Terraplanter already has raised more than $2,800,000 on Kickstarter, and there are a few rewards still available. To see more examples of the hydroponic propagation, check out Instagram, Facebook, and the video below, which was directed and animated by Kobi Vogman.

 

 

 



Art Craft Food

Domestic Ceramics by Mechelle Bounpraseuth Infused with Culinary Life and Family Memories

May 18, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Mechelle Bounpraseuth, shared with permission

Sydney-based artist Mechelle Bounpraseuth crafts life-sized ceramics that explore her identity as a first-generation daughter of Laotian refugees. Her small and glossy ceramic artwork, which ranges from drink cans to widely known sauces, explores her connection with her past and how branded ingredients are rooted in culinary culture and rituals. 

Bounpraseuth was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, and despite many fond memories of her family and childhood, her religion discouraged her from pursuing artistic pursuits. She left the religion in her 20s and got married, realizing that her dream of becoming an artist was possible and that she didn’t have to succumb to the person her religion had wanted her to be.

Her creativity initially began from drawing and creating zines, before Bounpraseuth enrolled in a ceramics course and began crafting functional objects. Noticing her talent for the medium, her tutor encouraged her to pursue work with more artistic flair. She began to expand on her drawings of household objects by recreating them in clay and glossy bright colors.

One of Bounpraseuth’s ceramics is a Heinz Ketchup bottle, a condiment found in many family fridges and cupboards throughout the world. For the artist, the sauce represents the memory of her family eating pho together, a ritual in which they would come together and make the recipe from scratch with a dollop of ketchup. These sculptural forms are meaningful symbols to Bounpraseuth as the pho was a labor of love and would take her family all day to make.

Through the creation of these domestic objects from her past, Bounpraseuth uses her artwork as a way to reflect upon and process her childhood memories and as a way to navigate her old and new identities. These pieces illustrate how some values remain passed down from generations, like Bounparseuth’s reference to her family’s shared domesticity, while some core aspects of family, like religion, are not always. 

For more of the artist’s memory-focused ceramics, head to Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 



Design Food

Gourds Grown in Vessel-Shaped Molds Become Reusable Cups and Flasks

April 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © CRÈME, shared with permission

With Jun Aizaki’s latest design, you could be picking up your morning latte poured into a dried gourd rather than a disposable adorned with a green siren. The Brooklyn-based designer, who owns CRÈME, recently launched a project to reduce single-use plastic waste by shaping the flowering fruit into simple drinking vessels. Heading The Gourd Project, Aizaki created both a cup and a flask that can hold hot and cold liquids and are an alternative to traditional products. After three to six uses, the containers can be composted with other food waste.

Aizaki “explored the century-old craft of drying plants to make receptacles, in order to find a way to reduce plastic and contribute to nature through design,” project organizers said. Each biodegradable vessel takes about six weeks to grow from its first planting at a Pennsylvania farm with six harvests each year. Because gourds have tough skin and fibrous insides, they’re shaped easily as they fill out. Each 3D mold is made of plastic right now, although the team hopes to switch to reusable materials once it expands production.

The sustainable project comes amid reports that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is increasing plastic consumption and affecting how, and if, the material is recycled, in addition to companies banning reusable cups and containers to stop the spread of the virus.

Follow the design firm’s waste-conscious products on Instagram, and stay tuned for the project’s upcoming launch on Kickstarter. You also might want to check out this lobster shell upcycle.

 

 



Design

Thick Greenery Swathes a Bamboo-and-Steel Complex in Indonesia

April 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Realrich Architecture Workshop, aka RAW Architecture, completed Guha Bambu just this year, but the cascading vines, luxuriant shrubs, and grass-covered facades on the new project make it appear as an old building overtaken by nature. Each room of the nearly 6,500 square-foot complex has at least two entrances that often face north and south to exhibit the overflowing greenery.

Spanning three upper floors and two basement levels, the multi-use structure incorporates modern and traditional techniques like the fish mouth joint, which cuts the end of wood-like substance in a U-shape and positions another piece on top. It’s constructed using a combination of steel, wood, glass, metal, gypsum, bamboo, plastic, stone, and concrete.

Located in Tangerang, Indonesia, the new project is actually a renovation of the firm’s existing building named The Guild. It continues to house Omah Library, a dentist’s office, a private apartment, and RAW Architecture’s studio, which are separated at the entrance to prohibit the public from entering the private spaces. Each space is designed to be converted and reused for new tenants.

Follow RAW Architecture on Facebook for updates on its projects that merge lush botanicals and nature-based materials.  (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Untamed Flora and Fauna Rendered with Mud in New Multi-Level Mural by Yusuke Asai

March 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The earth is falling from the sky” (2019), view from Wulong Lanba Art Festival in China. All images © Yusuke Asai, shared with permission

Part of a solo exhibition titled Gimme Something/To Eat at Anomaly in Tokyo, a multi-level project by Japanese painter Yusuke Asai considers the structure of ecosystems and the relationship between humans, animals, and nature. In his mythical installation “The earth is falling from the sky,” a central figure with outstretched arms smiles down from the ceiling. Intertwined scenes of flora and fauna encircle the entirety of the dome-shaped room, with deer, rodents, and snakes scattered throughout the untamed installation. The artist previously shared this project in the Moss Museum at the Wulong Lanba Art Festival in China.

Asai is known for using simple materials like soil, water, dust, flour, tape, pens, and even animal blood gathered from local regions to create his sprawling projects, requiring viewers to interact directly with their surrounding environments. In his mud paintings, the artist literally binds themes of nature with physical elements of the earth.

If you’re in Tokyo, the exhibition is open at Anomaly through April 18. Otherwise, head to Instagram to see some of the artist’s small-scale works. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Food

Twisting Vines and Leafy Botanics Carved into Crusty Breads by Blondie + Rye

March 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Blondie + Rye

North Carolina-based baker Hannah P. has planted herself firmly at the intersection of art and food as she transforms her crusty rye loaves and spelt focaccias into edible canvases for her botanic projects. Through her Instagram account Blondie + Rye, Hannah shares hundreds of flour-covered creations replete with twisting vines and leafy stems. Some pieces even feature layered fruits and vegetables that resemble verdant gardens and floral bouquets. If the baker’s combinations weren’t so appetizing—think a spelt loaf speckled with rosemary and brown sugar and a cream cheese, Romano, and lemon zest center or a ring full of extra-crunchy peanut butter, honey, toasted pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnut cocoa filling—they’d be almost too pretty to eat. For more lovely baked exteriors, check out Lauren Ko‘s pies.

 

 



Art Illustration

Floral-and-Frond Compositions Shape Energetic Wildlife by Raku Inoue

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Whale” (2020). All images © Raku Inoue

Known for his botanical arrangements of beetles, insects, and butterflies, Raku Inoue once again is bringing flora and fauna together. His previous work often positions the animals in stationary poses, resembling a portrait of an owl or a scorpion pinned inside a glass case as part of a collection. The latest pieces in his Natura Wildlife series, though, indicate a liveliness and inclination for movement, from a whale blasting orange flowers from its blowhole to a seahorse grasping a Q-tip.

In an Instagram post, the Montreal-based creative even said he modeled his pink-hued flamingo after Flamingo Bob, the Caribbean bird who was disabled after flying into a hotel window. The artist crafted multiple depictions of the animal as he stares, swims, and mingles with friends, in between his duties as an ambassador for the FDOC, a foundation dedicated to educating locals about wildlife protection. “I thought I would make these images honoring him and his future legacies,” Inoue wrote.

“Staring Bob” (2020)

“Jellyfish” (2020)

“Mingling Bob” (2020)