For flowers that are so naturally elegant, domestic orchids are seriously design-challenged. Not the blooms themselves, of course--it’s that unsightly but ubiquitous stick-and-teensy-hair-clip combo that keeps the stems standing tall. Yeonju Yang, half of London-based studio Yang:Ripol, had been regularly tending to these particular blossoms for almost five years before reaching a kind of creative epiphany. “It’s funny how sometimes things stare at you in the face for so long until the designer mind clicks in and you realize--here is actually a problem which needs resolving,” he tells Co.Design.
Rather than follow the lead of the old model’s ineffective attempt at subtlety, Yang’s resolution is distinctly separate from the plant. A powder-coated steel cylinder provides a clean-lined container for a plastic pot, and the small slot on its lower side provides a base for a vertical steel rod (the material’s springiness keeps it in place). The hook end of the adjacent horizontal rod holds the stalk up, while an adjustable plastic node connects the two and allows for repositioning. The smart solution is just a prototype for now, Yang says, a self-initiated project “to keep ourselves fresh.”