Nature continually inspires my design work. I was reminded of this recently when I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium when family was visiting from out of town.
Some of the ways I got re-inspired that day included:
I was reminded to try different color combinations that I may not normally place together. Seeing certain combinations in the aquariums reminded me that often in nature, all colors can go together. I can’t recall seeing any mismatches when outdoors.
That nature possesses the strange and exotic right in front of us. It is endlessly fascinating to view the intricacy of detail in the fish, shell fish, sea urchins, star and jelly fish in their scales, colors, and patterns. It reminded me that the smallest detail can make a huge impact even when one has to get in close to experience it. Also, that a small detail can affect an overall look. Design is often like that too especially with fabrics, embroidery and different wood types and patterns.
That organic shapes satisfy and inspire. There is something pleasing in an organic shape that can’t always be defined yet always intrigues. I find myself drawn to these shapes. Also a small pattern close up can be seen in detail but it also contributes to a larger overall design when viewed from a distance thus serving multiple purposes.
I find more and more that design is going toward organic shapes. For example, a piece of furniture that really wowed me is a live edge table made from a tree where the maker leaves the bark on the table edge or lets the organic shape curve in and out rather than creating a straight edge. They are fascinating, a conversation piece and stunning. I love that something so simple as leaving the bark on the edge can be radical.
What viewing these lovely, awesome creatures at the aquarium, and the material of this table do is challenge me to rethink how I view things which ends up infusing, inspiring and pushing my design work.
Just a few examples in one of my design projects are:
The wood grain inspired grate cut into the metal of the fireplace wood storage area. Though a very modern room, the pattern is inspired by a texture from nature. I find adding this type of element warms up a space.
A few other examples are the organic textures and shapes of the accessories in these display shelves. In one case the pottery surface and its imperfect nature is satisfying to view and touch while in the case of the wood sculpture and bowl , the randomness of the shapes and allowing the natural shapes to guide the design, please the eye and soul.
When thinking about this post it was a great reminder to look back at a project and remind myself on what pieces end up resonating and having longevity.