Q&A: Indigenus’s Peter van der Post

peter van der post
Bhaca by Andile Dyalvane

WORDS Palesa Kgasane PHOTOS Mark Williams

Indigenus’s artisan planters are what happens when considered design and nature collide. We talk to the brand’s founder about why staying connected to the natural world is a design priority.

Peter van der Post, the founder and CEO of Indigenus, turned his love of nature and art into a business that manufactures architectural planters that uplift and enhance the spaces they’re placed in. The venture is rooted in collaborations with South African designers, artists and architects – the Indigenus brand has worked with Andile Dyalvane, SAOTA, Laurie Wiid van Heerden and Haldane Martin, among others – who appreciate the transformative power of great planters. With indoor plants continuing their ascendancy in interiors everywhere, we asked Peter why he thinks we’re so enamoured of all things green at the moment.

What do you believe is the reason plants yield so much power over a space?

I’m not a horticulturalist or a biologist, but I believe they connect us with nature, which is always healing. They also break up lines with organic shapes, which I think is good for our psyche at some level.

Terra by Laurie Wiid van Heerden

Which aspects of modern life do you think have encouraged people to buy and grow plants?

Our disconnect from nature: this is a way of reconnecting.

Do you see this green trend as a shift towards natural living?

If by “natural living” you mean a movement towards more natural materials and handcrafted items, less clutter, fewer but better things, and more plants in our homes and on our plates, then yes.

What distinguishes your brand’s ethos from other planter companies?

We will not compromise on the quest for beauty in our designs – even if it increases the price.

You collaborate with local artists to create your designs. How do you go about choosing them?

For me, it’s about the designs they’ve already done, and whether I can see them translating into an Indigenus planter. I like designers who don’t compromise on achieving something exceptional and original, and who seek to create their best work using real materials. All our designs have a link to the earth, so that too must be present.

peter van der post

Soma by Laurie Wiid van Heerden

What’s the best plant-buying advice for apartment dwellers who don’t have gardens?

Choose plants suited to the environment they will live in, accounting for light, air flow, humidity and temperature. And don’t be scripted in how you use them – I think eclecticism is more soulful than something that’s overly manicured.

How do we strike a balance between “too many plants” and planters versus just enough?

That is completely individual – do whatever feels right for you!

For more information, visit indigenus.co.za.