In 1996, architect Robert Cannon was creating sculpture that explored the connection between nature and modern culture. He was ahead of his time. Fast forward to the 2010s, a time when sustainability, biophilic design and indoor/outdoor living trends has given rise to new types of health-focused home solutions.
In 2012, Cannon founded Opiary, a Princeton, NJ-based design lab and production studio, to expand his business and tap into the current zeitgeist. I love architecture, landscape design and sculpture, Cannon explains. I’ve practiced all of them and I’ve rolled them all together into my products. So how do these handmade, sculptured furnishings work?
“It’s basically a hydroponic system, though there is some soil for the roots. There’s an irrigation system, and the plants get all their water and nutrients through it. And they grow to become really lush, beautiful things.
Opiary product respects the qualities of the environment in which they are placed, so wherever you’re growing, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, or the desert, the tropics or New England, regionally appropriate plants survive. For indoors, there’s a whole host of tropical plants, mosses and succulents that grow well.
Opiary product cuts across the board, whether you’re living in a big estate or a little apartment. It’s a historical moment, in terms of our relationship to technology and nature. We’re spending more and more time online, living a digital existence. And the reaction to this is we want very much to have something for the body, something real in our spaces. Bringing in plants and nature does this.
Robert Cannon channels his passion for architecture, landscape design and sculpture into inventive home furnishings.
Opiary’s Terrain planter is constructed from galvanized steel armature and coated with resin-fortified cement.
It’s weatherproof, rust-resistant and can be used indoors or outdoors.
Six pockets that support plant life surround Opiary’s top-selling Queen Anne indoor/outdoor table. It’s made from polished, lightweight ferrocement; irrigation lines are an option. www.opiary.com
Robert Cannon Home Photo Gallery