Dowan’s A-pot is an award winning, house planter. The primary function comprises a self watering system, consisting of: a terracotta vessel and an outer, glass container. The two components work in tandem to maintain an adequate moisture level within the plant soil, for an elongated time period. The unglazed terracotta’s porous structure enables the passage of water. Therefore, when the glass exterior is sufficiently supplied with water, the soil is hydrated inside. The plant’s roots will in turn draw out the water stored within the soil. Once again, the soil becomes drier, repeating the process, pulling more water from the terracotta vessel. (House Plant Journal 2022)

During the hydration process, osmosis is also enabled within the terracotta vessel. The necessary amount of water is extracted. This ensures that the user will only have to refill the container when it is visibly low. The process lessens the chance of overwatering the plant; a typical outcome involving top down watering.

The kinds of houseplants typically found within the A-pot are species that require a consistent level of moisture. This would include, but is not limited to: Ferns, Calathea, Pothos, Begonias. However, if the planter is being inhabited by partially drier species (e.g. Succulents), it is recommended that the reservoir run completely dry before replenishing.


The manner in which we design can be a derivative from the characteristics of nature. It is possible that a solution for human-centered dehydration may be reflected in the ways that plants rehydrate. Those larger concepts are at play within this design concept. They are the embodiment of what I hope to extract and possibly apply to my work. For instance, developing a system that concludes when sufficient fluid intake has occurred resembles similar components to the process of osmosis. Another running theme could be centered around materiality. A textile that promotes the transfer of water aligns with the porous nature of the terracotta material.


Cheng, D. (n.d.). Review: A-pot by Dowan Ceramics. House Plant Journal. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from

Sheth, S. (2021, November 4). This chic self-watering planter uses a porous terracotta inner vessel to absorb water and hydrate the soil – yanko design. Yanko Design – Modern Industrial Design News. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from