There often appears to be a fine line between science and magic. The engineers at Flyte, who make products levitate for a living, walk that line every day. They first made a name for themselves with their floating lightbulb, and now they've ventured into new gravity-defying territory: Their latest project is a levitating, rotating planter, called Lyfe.
"We wanted to take levitation to the next level," says founder Simon Morris, who's been breaking the rules of gravity since first levitating a skateboard at university by using the power of magnets. "We like to create a 'wow' factor. A light bulb is static, but plants are supposed to be rooted in the earth."
Honing in on Morris's magnet technology, the Flyte engineers create projects that turn home decor into science experiments. "We use levitation because there's an emotional response when you see it," says co-founder Daniel Mascarenhas. "It's art meets function."
To add an extra layer of curiosity to Lyfe, the studio chose air plants (that is, plants that don't grow in soil) as the ideal life form to fill the planter. "They're these rebel plants," Morris says. "They grow off other trees, or even on telephone wires."
Working with air plants was at once practical (the magnets can only support so much weight to levitate an object), and also a poetic experiment. What happens when a living thing is suspended in the air? How will it react to being rotated instead of growing toward the sun?
The results are yet to be seen, but keep your eyes out: The Flyte team plans to keep distorting the rules of reality with a secret new project out this fall.
Lyfe Planter by Flyte, $199, flyte.se.