Last night Suntory’s subsidiary Midorie announced the winner of their first-ever Midorie Design Contest. Midorie launched its services in 2008 and offers rooftop and wall surface greening that utilizes Puffcal, “an originally developed sponge-like soil substitute” that is lighter and more versatile than soil. The guidelines of the contest were to use Puffcal in an innovative fashion to create green-design.
The winners were the members of the design studio kenma, who proposed OSUSOWAKE (which means sharing, in Japanese) a planting system that could be grown and then divided in order to distribute to friends and family. Recipients can then combine them with any existing Puffcal plants that they may have, creating a unique plant that becomes symbolic of the ties and connections you have with others. The proposal completely rethinks the notion of plants and goes beyond the possibilities that conventional potting soil offered which, in the end, won them the award.
Here is the official press release (Japanese PDF) where you can see some of the runner ups, which include planters that can be stored in bookshelves and planters that act as umbrella stands, feeding off the dripping rainwater.