Indigenus is making pot plants the home's hottest decor statement
Plastic no longer resonates with Peter van der Post. Once the owner of an industrial plastic moulding company, the Capetonian turned to natural materials almost five years ago, launching Indigenus, a company that collaborates on and markets large sculptural planters for homes and corporate buildings.
Designed by five SA designers, the planters have also caught the eye of the international hospitality industry and are distributed by some of the world's high-end brands
The seed for Indigenus was planted when Van der Post produced an illuminated planter with industrial designer Brian Steinhobel. "I was motivated to make beautiful things, but it was still mass-produced ... and it was still plastic," he says.
His urge to introduce handcrafted designer showstoppers in "earthy" materials led to Indigenus, whose planters can go for anything from R2,000 to R27,000. "They're luxury décor items," he says. "Like a statement piece of furniture. People see them as functional art." He explains how every piece is made from the highest-quality materials and finishes and is expertly constructed.
Architects Stefan Antoni and Greg Truen of SAOTA were added to the core of designers, producing Steen - glass-reinforced concrete with a suede-like finish, inspired by Cape coastal boulders.
Ceramicist Andile Dyalvane's Bhaca entered the market last year. Bhaca means "scarification" in Xhosa, a cultural practice evident in the way Dyalvane cuts into his designs.
"I looked at his small vessels to see what we could scale up," says Van der Post of the collaboration that keeps the scarified element of Dyalvane's ceramic vessels. Bhaca is a simplified yet colossal concrete iteration, available in fire-pit black, ash grey and bleached white.
Although he provides a starting brief and valuable input and editing, Van der Post insists that "it's the designers who bring the X-factor".
By employing the knowledge and technical experience gained from his moulding factory, Van der Post's range can be used indoors and outside.
In this way, Indigenus allows homeowners to introduce greenery inside their homes, in clusters on a patio or within a garden in a way that enhances an interior or landscaping style.
Presenting what its creator views as "African, soulful, textured and alive", these works of art may be the greenest décor statement yet.