Made from recycled materials, Maruja Fuentes’ green pockets give new meaning to the term “houseplant.” Spotted at the 2009 Milan Furniture Fair, the super-cool ceramic tiles attach to any wall to create the illusion that whatever’s inside—herbs, plants, a flower or two—is growing directly out of a room’s surface. It’s the ultimate marriage of form and function: The pockets bring a soul-soothing dose of greenery and nature to an interior space, improving a room’s aesthetic and air quality.
Because of their unique fish-scale shape, the planters interlock, allowing users to create different patterns depending on the type of vegetation. Think of green pockets as an at-home, DIY living wall kit. In addition to pockets, there are also flat tiles, which further increases the design possibilities. The only rule of (green) thumb to note is that the impact of the arrangement is directly proportionate to its size—the bigger, the better in both cases.
Though the bowl of the pocket is a little small (which might restrict floral options), the brilliance of this idea alone is worth praising. But that should come as no surprise considering the source. Fuentes began her career studying environmental design in her native Puerto Rico before transferring to Catholic University in DC to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in architecture. After finishing a Master’s on top of that, she studied furniture and textile design at Savannah College of Art and Design. Currently, she is working on developing and exploring new ways to bring her designs to life—which, if green pockets are any indication, means this won’t be the last time we cover her work.