June 9, 2022 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Designer Gionato Gatto’s collection, Coloniae, is a series of objects designed like dwellings within a colony, their structures conceived to interact symbiotically with plants.
The objects are probably best suited for air plants (Tillandsia) as they don’t appear to contain vessels for either soil or water, but the idea is noteworthy.
A collection of variously shaped vases and a table, Colonaie hosts the plants, allowing the plant roots and leaves to intertwine themselves with the support structure to become a single complete unit. The table is reminiscent of French designer Frédéric Malphettes’s Surface which does double duty as both an indoor-outdoor modular table system and a planter, or Norwegian designer Philipp von Hase’s seed shaped “Plantable” a table with an integrated planter.
Unveiled at Milan Design Week 2022, Colonaie is part of the design collective JCP Universe’s Alternative Lifeforms series, whose concept is to create artifacts that “become life forms of a system that creates relationships between its creators, users and the environment itself.”
Like Hong Kong designer Francois Hurtaud’s combination aquaponic planter system and light fixture, a modern piece of indoor furniture, the Colonaie pieces aren’t simply containers for plants but rather objects that exist symbiotically with them.
Two vase designs, Munzo and Loum, and a small side table are made of perforated aluminum sheets with matt copper, matt bronze, or matt silver finishing. The designs are made to order on JCP Universe’s website.
Photos via JCP Universe.
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