The Phytophiler by Dossofiorito: magnifying effect

People are crazy for succulents and air plants these days, but let’s not completely give up on the traditional ol’ houseplant. Especially when you can give it an aesthetic and attention-grabbing edge via Italy-based design studio Dossofiorito’s “The Phytophiler.” The Phytophiler is a series of hand-thrown terracotta pots that allows users to add mirrors, magnifying glasses and other appendices to make their common houseplants appear anything but common.

The Phytophiler with mirrors

The effect is striking. Magnifying glasses amplify aspects of the plant to appear otherworldly and almost like there are reaching out to the observer. In another case, a three-panel mirror turns an orchid into a triptych, making it appear much larger than the sum of its parts. Other small mirrors are strategically placed to highlight aspects of plant life, such as undersides, in ways normally gone unnoticed. There are also interesting wire contraptions and platforms for phytophiles to display plants in unique new ways.

The Phytophiler by Dossofiorito

Somehow these appendices elevate plants to “sensitive beings” we can interact with. Sound lofty? The artists write on their website that the gadgets suggest “gestures that invite us to interact with the domestic world of plants, through methods and sensibilities that are typical human acts. Gestures that improve our relationship with plants, and that are important evidence of a new widespread attitude towards nature and of an established awareness of finding ourselves in front of sensitive beings that belong to an other world that completes us.”

The Phytophiler with a magnifying glass

The Phytophiler series of terracotta pots

We are cool with that. We usually do not interact much with our Philodendrons and African violets other than watering and occasional fertilizing. But we heard some people talk to their plants to keep them thriving. So why not give them appendices to “communicate and intimately interact?” Either way, we love the design and overall effect.