I remember a time when all vases used to look the same. Or pretty similar at least. You could almost predict their shape. Round or cylindrical – straight up and down, tapered at the top, or maybe flaring out, possibly faceted if the designer went a bit nuts smoking the silly stuff. Yeah, those crazy wacked-out designers man. As for the materials – there was glass, or crystal for fancy-pants folk with the taste for finer things in life, clay, porcelain and that type of jazz.

Well, looks like the good old days of predictable vases are definitely over. Vases don’t look ANYTHING like they used to. Nor are they made from the usual repertoire of materials. Tsk, tsk, design kids these days… Vases now come in all shapes and sizes, and in the types of materials I would usually assign to buildings or stationery. And stuff.

So, without further ado, here’s my round up of VVV – as in Very Visual Vases. [Do you like the title? Took me ages to think of it! It’s not that great, is it? Yeah, I know. It’s a bit ghay.]


Hidden Vase by Chris Kabel // This project started as a research on how to make a vase disappear, based on the way a chicken waterer works. With the help of Frank Bruggeman this concluded in a photographic registration of my initial research for the Plant Journal, a Spanish magazine about plants. Then a small collection of one-off vases was produced, based on the initial research. The flowers are placed around the water container so that it seems as if they are growing directly from the plate.


V4 by Seung-Yong Song // “Lightness and heaviness, lines and lumps, smoothness and roughness, coldness and warmth. All materials and forms balance through the course of colliding and confronting within one volume.” Made from iron, cement (chrome paint) and wood (walnut).


Big Bloom by Charlie Guda for The Cottage Industry // “We have Augustin-Jean Fresnel to thank for the creation of a thinner and lighter lens which we today aptly call the Fresnel lens.
The idea dates back to the seventeenth century and was then employed to reduce the bulk of glass that was then necessary for the manufacture of the lenses in a lighthouse… In hommage to Monsieur Fresnel, we would hereby like to reinstate his invention for something a little less prosaic…namely, to magnify and enhance the flower! The all new transparent Big Bloom vase will greatly magnify any flower allowing you to see the fine intricacies of the flower in much greater detail.”


Narciso Vases by Giorgia Zanellato // A collection of six different vases which use mirrors to draw attention to the role of the flowers. Mirrors are investigated in all their aspects, from the simplest reflection to the most complex one. In this way each vase shows flowers from a different point of view. They’re made in borosilicate glass, powder-coated alluminium and mirrored stainless steal.


Industry Porcelain Vases by Gentle Giants // Amazing series of vases with white porcelain tops and gold metal bases inspired by industrial liquid and gas storage towers. Incredible, no?


Merging Top by THINKK+Studio 248 // Inspired from a classic toy known as the Spinning Top, “Merging Top” comes with 2 different vases, of different shapes, sizes, and degrees of tilt, to create new styles of flower arrangements. The small vase can be stacked on top of the large vase, transforming into a sculpture-like form that combines two contrasting materials which complement each other.


Momentum Vase by Jacobo Munoz // “Momentum is defined, in physics, as the fundamental quantity that characterizes movement of any object. In the Momentum flower vases, poetically, the intent is to reconstruct the movement that the flowers will no longer posses once they are cut to be placed inside. The flower vases reflect the contrast between freedom and captivity. Freedom is movement that may be created artificially by moving the object over its own axis; captivity is the obstruction of a shackle (the disk) that generates the illusion of freedom but reminds that the flowers are condemned to die.” Heavy!


Sand Vases by Yukihiro Kaneuchi // Sand vases were inspire by a traditional Japanese game. “The rules are simple. Players make a heap of sand and place a branch in the centre, then each player takes turns removing sand, the one who causes the branch to fall loses.”


Paperse Vase by Cauca Design // Well now I’ve seen everything! Paperse is a flower vase made from thick paper with a vinyl tube for water, which can be folded up and used like a real vase.


Scientific Glassware Vases by autumnworkshop // “We created 30 test tube vases, 3 flask vases, and a series of logs with test tubes imbedded in them. The steel pieces are made entirely of cutoffs from previous projects, and the logs were just lying around the shop, leftovers from the birch lamp production. Gotta use those scraps! Upcycle.”


That Piece of Time by Luna Seo // This object “grasp time from the sunlight and shed unexpected, unrepeatable moments for you to cherish. It unveils pieces through the meetings between light and light-refracting materials.”


About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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