When something is nature-inspired, it has the ability to bring us closer to who we are. It is calming, warm, and refreshing. It is inviting. It is invigorating. It makes use of natural earth-friendly products. Unobtrusive, it blends with the environment. It heals and makes us feel wonderful.
We can learn what we need to know from Mother Nature, the best, most innovative designer. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, we can look to it for answers no matter what design challenge we are up against. I read that Charles Eames, someone who made major contributions to modern architecture, furniture, graphics and fine art, always claimed that designers should “innovate as last resort.”
Recently, it was my good fortune to see a nature-inspired project under construction. I visited a fellow DIY-er’s outdoor sanctuary — a student’s father (she is taking my class to help him) is building a series of structures between the existing trees in his garden.
Most of his building materials are reclaimed from other building projects. The boulders are indigenous, all dug up from the earth on the property. He is designing it as he goes (perhaps just following nature’s lead called instinct) using recycled/salvaged lumber and stainless steel. Looking at the work done, I marvel at nature-inspired imperfections, pretty much blown away by the process. It is just magical.
When something is nature-inspired, sunlight is a major design element
The spaces being created will be flooded with light. There is abundance of windows and skylights. The new structures are one with the landscape. An olive tree is growing through; its trunk is caressed every time someone goes up or down the staircase. I am told that there are five shades of green used to paint the exterior wall with southern exposure, and all five match the foliage exactly.
The more I see, the more overwhelmed I feel. And encouraged. He is angling the walls based on the geometry of the surrounding trees. His spontaneous attention to detail validates what’s at the core of my life and work. As DIY architect and fanatic providing online architectural services, I am all about sharing knowledge, honoring authenticity, and nurturing self-reliance.
Nature-inspired, at home, I order his building bible: Do It Yourself Housebuilding: The Complete Handbook by George Nash.
Please let me know your thoughts on this subject, I would love it if you shared your own projects with me or suggested a topic. You can always contact me here.