Declaration of Plant Rights
Vættir is a poetic project that comprises of a collection of products that have been designed specifically for plants, highlighting their personalities and needs.
Inspired by the Swiss Declaration of Plant Rights, which affords plants rights as living entities; the project is intended to be a playful look at the curious nature of our relationship with flora and fauna.
Each piece in the collection is designed with a specific plant, or type of plant, in mind, looking at creating the perfect vessel and tools that reflect their characteristics. The resulting pieces are a handcrafted collection that seeks to engage people with plants in more meaningful ways.
In researching this project numerous stories were collected from people who have had special relationships with a plant in their lives. The overwhelming trend that ran through all of the tales is both the plant’s personality, and perhaps most importantly, the therapeutic effect of caring for them in a society where it is all too easy to be disconnected from nature.
The Vain Plant: Based on the legend of Narcissus the vanity plant goes commonly by the name Daffodil, a flower that bares the same name in Latin, and comprises of a vessel that allows the flower to have its image reflected back to it by a pool of water. Obsessed by appearances this vain flower only lives for
brief periods before succumbing to the pressures of age and imperfection.
With its Pore Declogger and Tweezers, the vanity plant is to be kept in the upmost peek physical condition. As the plant flowers for only certain months of the year and with such an emphasis on looks it is vital the carer for the plant is attentive to its aesthetic needs.
The Social Plant: Based on research into the term ‘Thigmomorphogenesis’, the effect of mechanical stimuli on plant growth, the social vessel features a wobbly vase that sits upon a copper base that vibrates. This fun and sociable plant grows better the more it is interacted with by, and cared for, its owner.
The tools that accompany the Social Vessel include the all important Tickle Tool and Fan Base Tool. The Tickle Tool is a soft and tactile brush that encourages the owner to provide further stimuli and encourage the growth of a happy, strong plant. And the Fan Base Tool is a twitter-linked fan that that turns each time someone sends a tweet, and thus socially interacts, with the plant. This tool also allows the owner to provide stimulation to the plant when they are away from home.
The Companion Plant: Based on theories of companion planting the Companion Vessel highlights the potential benefits of planting complementary plants together to support one another.
Joined at the hip or vessel as they are in this case the two plants are kept together to support their growth.
The companion vessel does not come with specific tools but a suggested reading list for the owner to recite to the plants at specific times each day. Included on the list is everything from Keats to Tolstoy, and the plant’s carer keeps a logbook to record what has been read and if any changes have been noted. The idea behind these readings is that it allows the owner to time to sit and relax whilst reading, spending time with the plant in their care.
The Shy Plant: Based specifically on the needs of the Mimosa Pudica, commonly otherwise known as the ‘sensitive plant’, the Sensitive Vessel protects this shy plant from overenthusiastic owners. The glass dome still allows the plant to be cared for with a hole to administer water and nutrients, but it stops people touching its responsive leaves, something that ultimately will kill the plant.
The tools for the Sensitive plant revolve around attending to its physical needs carefully and precisely, whilst incurring minimum contact. The Water Dispenser Tool and the Nutrient Dispenser Tool are instruments that allow the carer to carefully measure out what the plant needs and to administer it precisely to this vulnerable being.
Amy Congdon, Melody Vaughan, Amiee Bollu, Danny Thompson
Wildabout Flowers, London Design Week