Ever wished you could see what the bee sees? That’s how Dutch company The Cottage Industry introduces its newest product, Big Bloom, a vase that uses a fresnel lens to magnify the intricate details of flowers.
Fresnel lenses were invented by French physician Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the 18th century to help steer ships safely into harbor with brighter lighthouse lanterns. Today, the super-lightweight lenses are all around us, in traffic lights, televisions, magnifying lenses, and overhead projectors.
Big Bloom’s designer, Charlie Guda, had “something a little less prosaic” than stoplights in mind when he started experimenting with fresnel lenses in his Nijmegen design studio last year. After trying out different ways to utilize a handheld version of the fresnel, Big Bloom was born.
Guda calls the vase “an homage to Monsieur Fresnel,” who probably would have appreciated his no-nonsense, lightweight approach. The entire vase is made from only a lens, a test tube beaker, and a connecting rod. Big Bloom is understated product design at its very best: With a single insight, it intensifies the beauty of the world around us.
You can buy a Big Bloom online here.