Designer and artist Patrick Kruithof (Naarden, 1968) wants his products, installations, and ideas to bring about “sustainable experiences.” With seemingly small interventions, he presents an alternative to the seduction of consumerism and brings lasting beauty and value into people’s lives.
In collaboration with the city of Rotterdam, Kruithof designed the Hollyhock Tile. For this project, which ran between the summers of 2010 and 2013, a total of 340 paving stones, each designed to hold a hollyhock (Alcea rosea), were placed along the facades of houses across the city. One long edge of each tile has a recess for the plant. It is flanked by two holes for bamboo poles that support and protect the growing stem. The dimensions of the Hollyhock tile are slightly smaller than half a regular paving stone, so it’s easily integrated with existing pavement. The thirty-six dot logo in the right-hand corner is a wink to the hollyhock seed pod: it always contains thirty-six seeds.
Rotterdammers who adopted a hollyhock tile and plant were responsible for its care. The project not only fostered more affection for plants and insects such as bumblebees, but also made the urban environment greener and more beautiful. Kruithof proposes that the hollyhock be named the “city flower” of Rotterdam, as this exceptionally sturdy plant, which tolerates a wide range conditions, symbolizes the resilience of the people of Rotterdam and the sustainability goals of their town.
Patrick Kruithof is one of the 26 designers and studios that are selected for the group show Dream Out Loud – Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands. The exhibition can be visited from 26 August 2016 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Read more about the exhibition or order tickets.