Art object: Jungle for the living room

Wilderness for the living room: Hong Kong designer Charlie Kayi sells entire plant communities in a carafe – and her hip customers pay for the reconstructed “primeval forests” so that they can experience good money in urban surroundings. In return, they get jungle in various sizes.

For Kayi, the jungle in the bottle is more than just a chicky-micki gadget. “It’s about showing people how ecosystems function and how important healthy living space is for everyone,” she explains in an interview. Her lifestyle product combines gardening and sustainability.

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This noble claim is reminiscent of the – futile – attempts of entire scientific crews to recreate life under glass domes. They wanted to prove how ecosystems preserve themselves. The huge greenhouses bore the programmatic names Biosphaere I and

The attempts failed

Art jungle: art with a claim to sustainability! For Charlie Kayi, her project is more of a work of art. It has, she says, relevance to contemporary politics:

“Take Hong Kong as an example. So many millions of people live here in such a small space. We face the problems of this immense population density every day.”

She worked on her mini gardens for several years. She first had to learn which plants thrive together, how much water and nutrients they need. “For this mini-garden to work, it requires a great deal of sensitivity – on the one hand the right mixture of soil, on the other the right plants and an analysis of the microclimate in the bottle. Additionally also the Design aspect stands with us in the foreground ?, explains the artist of the agency press text.

“In principle, this self-contained ecosystem works like any other,” says the designer. “Sunlight and water are important for plant growth. This means that these two parameters must be coordinated. The circulation system we have developed, for example, does not make it necessary to fertilize the plants.


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