It’s well known that time amongst nature has the ability to instil calmness, clarity and stimulate our creative senses. However, often as designers, these moments become the catalysts for our design ideas, open to conceptual interpretation and exploration.
Initially drawing on visual cues from surrounding surfaces and textures designers may conjure up a the start of a colour palette. Dusty terracotta sands, tonal layering of forms or swelling oceans can each create a platform for design. Furthermore, within these surrounds we can also draw on emotive qualities; from softness and lightness to stillness and tranquillity all as undertones of these experiences. As a designer, we seek to express these feelings within our physical designs.
Nature also provides us with the backdrop of forms that are each filled with inherently beautiful characteristics. These offer us an invaluable archive for us to dip into. As a product designer, the inherent qualities of natural materials may drive the design intent and become a featured detail within a piece, such as the unique veining of the marble backplate in the Bermuda Wall Light. Just like marble, timber grains and markings enable each product to be unique within a standardised framework. Many natural qualities will change over time, allowing them to age and develop with the user.
“… these moments become the catalysts for our design ideas, open to conceptual interpretation and exploration.”
Alternatively, the details of these natural forms and their contours can be a springboard for architectural and interior design ideas. The layered travertine handrail within the Regent Street Apple store emulates the idea of sedimentation whilst showcasing the natural layers of travertine itself. An undulating ceiling structure by Vilhelm Lauritzen appears not too dissimilar from organic curves within Antelope Canyon. Whilst within furniture design, organic forms within the Etcetera Lounge Chairs or Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly stool mimic curled edges and the hugging, soft qualities of these natural beauties.
The amount of inspiration that can found simply within nature is a subtle reminder to look more closely and openly at all that constantly surrounds us. For it could be the start of an incredible design.
1 — Handrail from the Apple Store, Regent Street London by Foster & Partners.
2 — Layers of bark.
3 — Etcetera Lounge Chairs, Jan Ekselius 1972.
4 — Kedlingarfjödl mountain range by Brendan Lynch.
5 — Old Airport Terminal in Copenhagen, by Vilhelm Lauritzen 1939.
6 — Rock sedimentation within Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona.
7 — Leaf skeleton.