March 6, 2013 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Gardening meets architecture and art in Tumbleweed, a modular plant trellis system composed of folded epoxy painted steel and aluminum strips which interact in space as a living work of art, a sculpture that supports the cultivation of indoor plants.
Architect Jean-Jaques Hubert of Paris-based h2o architectes created Tumbleweed for French brand Compagnie’s Cultivated Furniture collection. In describing the interaction between the form and the plants, Hubert explained, “The plants grip the surfaces, crawl along the wall or invade the ceiling horizontally.”
I originally spotted Tumbleweed in 2011 at Maison et Object, where the designers shared that it was inspired and informed by the eponymous rolling bushes of the North-American desert.
The Tumbleweed, aka the Russian Thistle, isn’t native to North America but was unintentionally introduced to this country by Ukranian farmers. In tumbling about, the Tumbleweed produces about 250,000 seeds which spread in the wind adding to and replenishing the Tumbleweed population. Perhaps that is what the designers had in mind in creating a structure, a volume in space, that takes on a life of its own.
It may not blow in the wind, but air circulates through Tumbleweed’s openings where foliage winds in and out. Designed for unlimited expansion on the ground or to be suspended from above, the designers created the pieces as modular forms, intending that several Tumbleweeds be grouped together, the reason they are sold in packs of five.
The design offers infinite creative possibilites and, as they are available in various colors– white/gray, white/green, white/chocolate–would be adaptable to the design of any space.
For a similar concept that flattens the components to hang on a wall, see the Elements of Nature.
Photos: Stéphane Chalmeau