I wanted to write a post on Organic Design, a movement, or rather a motivation in design, which really inspires me and most designers.
Organic Design is a very broad term that encompasses anything from environment sensitive architecture and engineering, to nature inspired design, structure, materials and pattern. It also plays a big part in the development of sustainability, science and future technology.
So why do we have this great fascination with nature and why is it worth emulating? I would say Nature is the embodiment of perfect design. There is a certain grace, balance and beauty found in Nature that all designers, artists and craftsmen strive to attain. Nature is ultimate “form follows function” standard. Every leaf, colour, branch, exoskeleton, right down to the smallest cell was designed and evolved to perform a specific function in the most sufficient way. It is this ingenuity of Nature’s tested patterns and strategies that we attempt to imitate or draw inspiration from.
The Museum of Modern Art curator, Paola Antonelli, introduces the exhibition “Design and the Elastic Mind” and explains Organic Design.
I truly appreciate designers who mimic Nature’s working designs and evolve it to fit a new function whilst still retaining its aesthetically pleasing appearance whether it is in the way a structure is put together, a slight organic curve in a furniture piece, or an intricate pattern on a fabric. Designs inspired by nature has an elegant quality, maybe we recognize some subconscious symmetry in the organic.
Check out these beautiful nature inspired designs…
The Pod Hanging Chair is reminiscent of a weaver’s nest and the Blossom Chair designed by Kenneth Cobonpue resembles a flower, both available from Weylandts.
I adore these cushions from Peta-Lee. They are made from Merino Wool Felt and remind me of alveoli and sea grass, beautiful.
The Chrysanthemum Centrepiece by Michaella Janse Van Vuuren is a reversible design that can function as either a bowl or a candle holder. The piece was the winner of the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the Design Indaba Expo 2009.
And these organic form ceramic pieces from Astrid Dahl are truly awe-inspiring. They look so delicate and feminine. Isn’t it absolutely breathtaking!
Scientist, Janine Benyus, in her book on Biomimicry suggests looking to Nature as a “Model, Measure, and Mentor”. We truly live on an amazing planet, take care of it! May Nature continue to inspire us!