Pikaplant Hutspot

Pikaplant: the iconic ‘plant in a jar’ that doesn’t need watering

Interviews

Designers Daniel and Joost started their Pikaplant journey at Hutspot. Four years later, their iconic ‘plants in a jar’ are gracing interiors all over Europe. We visited Pikaplant to talk about the original idea, challenges they faced and what impact it has made.

Hi Daniël and Joost. How did you start Pikaplant?
Pikaplant was founded four years ago from the need to create impactful design. During this time, we learned that people who are hospitalized in intensive care are not allowed to keep plants because of contagion. We saw potential in creating a green solution, since science shows that contact with nature can positively impact medical recovery by 20 to 30 percent.

Both coming from a background in industrial design, we thought of a way to keep a plant healthy inside an airtight planter. The response from both medical and lifestyle sectors was huge! Thus, Pikaplant was born.

Where do you start once you have an idea?
We started having conversations with experts and ended up testing many different plants on their durability. Aiming to create a product that you never need to water, every little change in growth, the leaves or color was documented. This proved to be a crucial part of the process and we learned so much. The amount of water we put in, the soil composition and little damages can all impact durability. Every plant has its own growth cycle and challenges. We still get surprised by some outcomes!

Pikaplant Hutspot

How do you select what plants you want to test?
Selecting new plants is based on a combination of aesthetics and durability. Pikaplant is a design object, so it should meet the eye. Second, we want people to enjoy their plants as much as possible. If a plant can only last for six months, it is reason enough for us to not include it. The oldest Pikaplant jars are now over 4 years old. Isn’t that great?

How do people respond to Pikaplant?
We get a lot of fun responses on social media. People message us when their plants have reached another birthday or how great they look in their interior. When we first started, people wondered if an airtight environment would not be bad or ‘sad’ for the plant. Four years later, we feel that people are starting to understand that Jar is about the ecosystem.

It seems like Pikaplant is setting a great example for the importance of greenery inside your home.
Pikaplant stimulates conversation, for sure! We are proud to show how ecosystems can work and to be adding green to your interior. Next to this, Pikaplant Jar has been used for book covers regarding sustainability and in TV-programs to illustrate ecosystems. Furthermore, there is no plastic added to our packaging and the glass can be re-used. We see people creating their own biotopes because they were inspired by Pikaplant.

Pikaplant Hutspot

Pikaplant Hutspot

The shelf system ‘One’ looks beautiful in your office. Can you explain how it works?
Our philosophy is to make plant keeping easy for everyone. Mimicking nature’s water cycle, ’One’ automatically waters the plants via the shelves they are standing on. The plants absorb the water and the system only lets in new water when necessary. The entire process is automated without use of electricity, because we felt that using electronics would take away from the natural feel of plant-keeping.

What are your plans for the future?
Three years ago, we launched a kickstarter for ‘Tableau’. ‘Tableau’ is a middle sized plateau that works with the same natural tide system as ‘One’. Unfortunately, the valve inside the shelf system proved to  be unsuitable for ‘Tableau’. During the past few years we have been developing a new technology to regulate the water cycle and when it releases, we think this technology will create a big impact. Next to this, we are constantly experimenting with expanding our range of ecosystems. Stay tuned!

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