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A Vase That Serves As A Root System For Flowers

Shay Shafranek’s vase draws water to stems, thereby actively keeping flowers alive.

A Vase That Serves As A Root System For Flowers
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Our penchant for displaying cut flowers also displays our conflicting attitude toward nature—the urge to at once admire and destroy its beauty. “An average 21st-century human wishes to bring nature into the home environment,” says Shay Shafranek. “He cuts it from its life source, sentencing it to death and puts it in a special coffin, a preserving vessel in which the flower will slowly but surely wither and die.”

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Click to enlarge.

That (somewhat dramatic) observation is at the heart of Shafranek’s Prosthetic concept, a spiky vase outfitted with glass capillary tubes that function like artificial roots to draw water to the flower stems. Shafranek explains: “The role of the vase is changed from a passive preserving vessel into an active resuscitating object, taking an active role in keeping the flower alive”–and thus alleviating some human guilt.

The Israeli designer experimented with attaching ready-made glass tubes to a 3-D printed plastic body. “Making the water climb all the way up and stay there was difficult, and I had to try many tubes and arrangements in the process,” he recalls. But, he demurs, it doesn’t really matter if the thing works. “The concept of this specific vase is not its functionality but the story it tells.”

[Photos by Oded Antman]

About the author

A former editor at such publications as WIRED, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company, Belinda Lanks has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, Interior Design, and ARTnews.

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