The inspiration for the UPO design comes from Jennifer's mom's garden. She used to grow a filipino squash, called upo in tagalog, that is used in many filipino dishes, like soup or stir-fry. They are long, slender squash with greenish skin and white flesh inside. They are also known as bottle gourds. When Jennifer's mom grew them, she would have them grow on a wire trellis suspended from above and the squash would grow down, hanging from a ceiling of leaves.
So the UPO vessel is reminiscent of that image of a hanging upo squash.
It's amazing how random memories will end up inspiring you 20 years later.