Spring has finally sprung, and given that “April showers bring May flowers” there couldn’t be a better time to unveil this amazing grass-growing umbrella stand by Chinese designers Innovo. The sleek and simple mat design utilizes the runoff from used and wet umbrellas to water growing grass blades, which sprout up trough a system of tiny holes.

Grass growing umbrella stand, Innovo, Chinese product design, Salone del Mobile, Milano, Milan Salone 2010, Salone 2010, Milan Design Week, Milan Design Fair

Innovo focuses on industrial design, new product solutions and strategic integration, and their designs reflect upon everyday object interactions. Their product line consists of almost everything imaginable, including everything from a hair dryer to a child’s miniature car. In their collection showcased during this year’s + Milan Design Week, Innovo aimed to explore and reclaim the essence of Chinese design before the impact of western civilization.

The grass growing umbrella stand struck us as a great concept, but there are certainly suspicions regarding its practicality. If one lives in a rainy climate, the grass seeds are sure to take hold – but those who live where rain is at times, a rarity, one may have to proactively water the grass just to keep them alive. Although less is more in most cases, this design may have been simplified too much. In the provided images, the umbrella has no where to rest but against a wall. It seems like wasted water would end up on the floor or on even on the wall. A water gathering technique, such as a cupping form incorporated into the design, or even a hanging rack for the umbrella would help to provide a more holistic approach.

+ Innovo

+ Milan Design Week