It’s well known that time in 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 a 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 back plate in the Bermuda pendant light (11). Just like marble, timber grains and markings (3) 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. The Delano bottle opener (4) slowly forms a patina over time, breathing a new sense of life into the object.
“…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 (2) emulates the idea of sedimentation (12) whilst showcasing the natural layers of travertine itself. An undulating ceiling structure by Vilhelm Lauritzen (10) appears not too dissimilar from organic curves within Antelope Canyon (7). Whilst within furniture design, organic forms within the Etcetera Lounge Chairs (6) or Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly stool (8) mimic curled edges and the hugging, soft qualities of these natural beauties (1 & 9).
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.
3 / Layers of bark
9 / Leaf Skeleton