plasticity, style, function


The specific function of a watering-can seems to have stimulated designers to stretch the limits of plasticity. But how does it feel to water your plants with an award-winning icon? Especially one made of extruded plastic? Dutch-born Monika Mulder‘s award winning Vallö (2001) (above) is currently part of Democratic Design: IKEA at the International Design Museum in Munich.


The great Danish designer Erik Lehmann Hansen seems to have seen the humble watering can as an excuse for a playful exercise in style, echoing the geometric purism of his predecessors. But somehow he has exaggerated those characteristics to produce a postmodern object which seems to make fun of its origins: part oil-can, part Constructivism. I haven’t been able to discover the date for Lehmann’s watering can (Rosti #5173), but Lehmann was Rosti’s chief designer from the mid-70s. Although most of his classic designs were cast in melamine, his watering can is extruded silver thermo-plastic.

If the too-much-plastic thing is worrying all you 21st century readers, now check out this nifty award-winning recycliste design by French-born Swiss designer Nicolas Le Moigne seen here at designboom… His minimal use of plastic, part-recycled, maximises functionality, minimises consumption.



#1 Rory Toomey on 11.27.09 at 10:51 am

I like the direction Nicolas Le Moigne is heading in here.
Why not take it to its natural conclusion and just suggest that we all use an empty coke bottle to water the plants, thus doing away with the need for any new manufacturing to do the job?

Even practitioners of ‘green’ design are caught up in the addiction to newness and innovation for its own sake.

Good blog. Thank you.

#2 Nigel on 11.27.09 at 1:17 pm

It may be that the glug glug effect of the bottle needs to be brought under control and delivered more elegantly to the plant – not that the plant will care! And I’m sure there will be a feel-good aesthetic effect as well… I’m trying to find out where to buy them for Christmas presents!!!

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