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Indigenus’s new sustainable sculptural planters bring nature indoors

Internationally acclaimed local planter brand, Indigenus, unveils Aarde, its latest collection of five planters designed by award-winning German designer Sebastian Herkner

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By House & Garden South Africa | March 28, 2022 | Innovative

Indigenus’s new planters feature the brand’s distinct grounded aesthetic and understanding of the impact large-scale sculptural planters have on an an interior, architectural site or landscape. The range, made from glass-reinforced concrete, was inspired by a trip Sebastian took to South Africa and his interpretation of the different landscapes, colours and textures he saw here.

We chatted to Sebastian and Indigenus founder and CEO Peter van der Post about their collaboration.

Photographs courtesy of Indigenus

What was your design inspiration for these planters?

Sebastian Herkner: I spent my honeymoon in Cape Town and the Kruger National Park and was captivated by the country, its people and culture. With Aarde, I wanted to exhibit my impressions of South Africa’s multiple geographic facets, textures and the layers of its landscape.

How does the range tie in with what is currently happening in design?

People are searching for the story behind the product – where the brand is produced, which materials it uses and whether its practices are sustainable. They are looking for a companion for life when they buy design, not a trend. This for me is sustainability.

How do you envisage the planters working in a space?

I see Aarde existing both inside and outside. There are big planters in this range which are obvious out door features, and there are others which in scale are perfect for indoors, but I no longer see a boundary between terrace and house. Spaces are fluid. Outdoors is the new indoors and now we can have the same values, typologies and qualities in both settings

Why those colours?

I shared my desire to showcase South Africa’s beautiful colours with Peter. We chose warm reds and dark browns, and paler tones, wonderful earthy mineral colours in dialogue with the sun.

Did you have a particular market in mind?

These planters work equally in small European interiors and enormous architectural settings. I find it more challenging to design for a specific market than for a global one, because when it comes down to it, we all want the same thing: great design built to last.

Photographs courtesy of Indigenus

Indigenus planters typically have an organic shape and form. How do you see Sebastian’s designs – modernist or architectural – fitting in with the brand’s DNA?

Peter van der Post: We base our design ethos on beautiful, grounded designs that connect with the earth. While this planter is square and angular, I think it complements our designs, as it is not overly masculine but complex, layered, and takes us in a new direction, which is good because we want to evolve. It is original yet restrained.

Aside from working with a prestigious designer, how else is Indigenus unique?

Our primary objective is beauty, mostly with scale. That is why we collaborate with the best local and international designers, as exceptional beauty, especially simplicity, requires genius to achieve, so all other elements must be of the highest level to match it. It is all in the details, the production values, the hand finishing of each planter. Quality is intrinsic in creating a premium product, with a unique serial number that will last a lifetime.

Photographs courtesy of Indigenus
Sebastian Herkner by Gabby Gerster