Dezeen Magazine

Florian Wegenast designs furniture that creates "temporary gardens" in small spaces

Design graduate Florian Wegenast has created a range of furniture that incorporates plant holders, as a way of maximising green space in tight urban environments.

Wegenast began his Open Garden series while studying at London's Central Saint Martins, but presented the project's latest developments during this year's Dutch Design Week.

The whole range includes stools, benches and tables that each allow users to store plants – catering to those living in small spaces with no gardens. 

"Many of us don't have the luxury of having an outdoor garden at home," Wegenast told Dezeen. "My aim with this open-design plant furniture series is to encourage people to start utilising this design as a tool, and create new interactions between humans, plants and the home."

"Although one might not have the space to have a flourishing garden set up indoors at all times, this series allows for a temporary garden experience with all the plants around you that can be put away in the next moment to make space for a fold-out dining table or a pull-out bed," he continued.

The two newest pieces in the collection are made from terrazzo and plywood – a combination Wegenast picked to make the furniture more water resistant.

A simple stool is formed by two plywood sheets, which slot together and are topped with a terrazzo seat. An accompanying terrazzo plant pot has grooves cut into the underneath so it can be fitted onto the wooden base.

The stool is joined by two benches. One, which was the first piece from Wegenast's project, incorporates a planting tray on one side, while the other has spaces for terrazzo planters on its underside and frame.

All pieces can be assembled without the need for any nails, adhesive or separate attachments.

The designer also created an app, which uses open-source design to help individuals create physical gardens and features a geotagging network to help connect communities of green-fingered enthusiasts.

"When it comes to open source furniture, there is the challenge of designing something that almost anyone can recreate, but ultimately, open-source design creates a template that allows people to start imaging what material, colour and plants they want to combine to tailor to their own aesthetic."

"It is common for CNC-designed furniture to use different types of plywood," said Wegenast. "However, I wanted to challenge the materiality and qualities of current open-source furniture, so I integrated the contrasting material of plaster terrazzo, not only for its water-resistant qualities, but also to suggest and invite others to experiment and play with the materiality of the furniture itself.

Other brands to have ventured into the world of indoor gardening include IKEA, which created a hydroponic kit that lets owners grow plants and vegetables from their kitchens, without using soil or sunlight.

More recently, Bangkok studio Atelier 2+ created a range of mini greenhouses with the hopes of encouraging people to bring greenery into their homes.

The Open Garden series was exhibited at this year's Dutch Design Week, which took place in Eindhoven from 21 to 29 October 2017.