Honeymoon destination inspires garden product
a post-wedding trip to thailand came with an unexpected bonus for ute design’s kain lucas who dreamed up his lanna garden screen while in a chiang mai hotel.
the designer noticed the similarity of the area’s grid road system and laneway culture to his home city of melbourne and was inspired by the effort put into the gardens at cafes, bars and guest houses he visited with his wife while in chiang mai.
“this really resonated with us as we are both enthusiastic gardeners ourselves,” he says. “it struck me that in a lot of the places we visited, especially those with temporary gardens, that without the plants dotted around the ambiance would most likely all but vanish. the plant life was immensely important to the vibe of the establishment.
“we found some incredible gardens in some of the more up market resort hotels and guest houses. when we arrived back at our beautiful little boutique hotel which had an impressive modern landscape and pool too, i cracked out my sketch book and hit the pool with a drink in hand and contemplated everything i’d seen throughout the day.
“the design came through me right there, including the name of the product. the idea was simple enough. to design a structure to house pot plants that could be moved easily, for a temporary or moveable use or fixed to a wall or floor for permanent installation.”
lucas had a prototype ready eight days after returning and installed them at his home before getting them manufactured.
the lanna garden screen is perfect for consumers looking for a way to incorporate gardens into their courtyards or balconies.
while this product is ute design’s first foray into the outdoors it doesn’t signal a conscious move away from interiors but rather reflects lucas’s current personal focus.
“we built our house on a plot of land in melbourne’s inner-north in 2010 and we started with a blank canvass in the garden and i have been putting a lot of focus on it. so i suppose that’s why i’ve been designing for the outdoors recently because that’s the headspace i’m in,” he explains.
ute design will continue with the outdoor theme for its next product. lucas is currently finalising a sculptural fire wood stacker.
“it’s a real feature piece for the garden inspired by the brutalist architectural movement, because i’m really excited about ute design going outdoors and being out in the garden is good for you,” he adds.