LIVING TEXAS | AUSTIN
FINDING FERTILE GROUND FOR LIVING ART ARTICULTURE DESIGNS GROWS WITH KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
Photo by Articulture Designs
Photo by Julia Robinson
by Leah Fisher Nyfeler
Monique Capanelli didn’t come to her life’s calling with a clear vision and focus; she found her passion for living art by following her heart. About 12 years ago, Capanelli worked tending bar at Louie’s 106, a now-shuttered Mediterranean-inspired bistro near 6th and Congress with a wonderful atmosphere and inspired food. Looking to bring in extra money, she agreed to create floral arrangements for the restaurant’s foyer. “I’ve always been what I call a ‘can do girl,’” Capanelli recalls with a smile. “I didn’t know anything about floral arrangements, but I thought, ‘Sure—I can do this.’” She used interesting items creatively, and one thing led to another; patrons who fell in love with her striking designs became clients. And the personal creative passion she discovered led Capanelli to new studies, changes in employment, and founding her business, Articulture Designs, creating living art through flora. Today, her innovative Austin-based business focuses on interior botanical creations, sustainable landscaping, and wedding and event décor. According to Danté Dominick, Capanelli’s husband and business partner, approximately 70% of the business falls into the interior botanical design sector, but that area is full of amazing diversity. It includes enormous living plant walls (the giant moss walls installed at the Whole Foods Market in the Domain and at the new Shake Shack, part of the Lamar Union redevelopment), furniture (coffee tables, custom desks, and room dividers), and small, affordable art—terrariums, framed living arrangements, and just about anything else a patron can envision. Landscaping allows Capanelli, a certified permaculture designer, to promote sustainable practices, such as water conservation and edible plantings, with a creative eye for long-lasting beauty. Event design includes personal and commercial projects; weddings, catered affairs, and business conventions, such as the 2015 SXSW Festival, can decoratively utilize living plants, such as moss, bromeliads, and succulents, as well as cut flowers and vegetables, to brand, beautify and provide functional space delineation.
For years, Articulture Designs operated out of Capanelli’s south Austin home, and workspace needs have steadily encroached upon the couple’s living space. “We’ve had to be creative in storage and use,” says Capanelli, gesturing to the unique lighting fi xtures chained overhead, simultaneously stored and displayed. A successful Kickstarter campaign that launched in January has provided start-up funds for a commercial garden boutique, design studio, and community space located in south Austin. “There are so many good things happening here,” she says. Big projects need space to grow: the Whole Foods Market wall at the Domain, for example, took four weeks to fabricate, fi lling a rented 3,000 square foot warehouse in the process. Creative forces benefit from fertile ground, and Capanelli is excited about possible community space for workshops, seminars, yoga, and even supper clubs. It’s all part of the sustainable, creative energy that infuses the living works of Articulture Designs. ARTICULTUREDESIGNS.COM VISIT TEXASLIFESTYLEMAG.COM TO GO BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MONIQUE CAPANELLI.
Photo by Articulture Designs
Texas Lifestyle Magazine 9