New Making

Kakukei, An Orchid’s Pot

Kakukei reveals in use the image of a floating world with an elegant lightness of being. An orchid, framed oblivious, by the eight crisp planes that define its form. A conversation in textures, materialities, and translucencies; the glass arrangement suspends a layer of water to provide an osmose reservoir for its carer. Whether drowned in moonlight or sun-basking as a fleck of mauve on a windowsill, the orchid spins gold from hard life, moving forth and toward the grand sky.

The project of New Making hasn’t been an exploration of orchids, but rather that of iterative styles; digital craft, and product assemblage. First inspired by the jumbling and complex iterative repair of Ernesto Oroza’s Objects of Necessity, and taking the collage-esque method by which his chairs were constructed into task to house an orchid; I quickly became fascinated with the applications of emerging manufacturing methods in aiding the removal of ornament and craft effort, and in elevating existing objects through new materialities.

Through Kakukei, I refine and give purpose to the sculptural forms of gone era; the octagonal vase a tradition within eastern Chinese and Japanese pottery, now re-birthed without ornament or the physical effort required in craft, for more individuals to experience. Through utilising 3D-printed forms for mould-making, I was able to iterate rapidly in cast glass; a process traditionally very labour-intensive and heavily crafted now re-appropriated for an age of modern consumer culture.

From the onset, and as a quirk of the Cuban-inspired prototyping method of assemblage, the final object is constructed of very few materials. The glass reservoir is constructed from a single piece of solid glass, and the internal chamber of only two pieces. The hydrochomic coating is bonded to the outer surface of the Polylactide plastic pot. This streamlining of materials makes the object aesthetically minimalist, and easy to mass-produce.

Throughout the project I had made 10 iterative prototypes, one each week; and have displayed them below.

If we were to look forward and attempt to make Kakukei more efficient for mass production, it would require re-thinking some of the finer details of the product.  The current iteration utilises solid cast glass to achieve the frosted body of the pot, which is an incredibly labour-intensive process, even with the allowances of rapid prototyping to help in form-making. In exploring multiple material options, I feel that injection-moulded acrylic would provide the closest and most cost-efficient replacement to the cast glass; with a slight frosted texture. Acrylic is more hygienic than the cast glass, without any imperfections or air pockets that could harbour bacteria.


By Leon

Product Designer at ECA, graduating in 2018 - fascinated with informatics, semantics of the home, and our electronic object relationships.