When something is nature-inspired, it has the ability to bring us closer to who we are. It is calming, warm, and refreshing. Inviting. Invigorating. Making use of natural earth-friendly products, it blends with the environment. Most importantly, it makes us feel wonderful.
Incidentally, we can learn a lot from Mother Nature, the best, most innovative designer. We can look to it for answers no matter what challenge we are up against. For example, 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, I visited a nature-inspired project under construction. 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.
The majority of his building materials are scraps from other building projects. The boulders are indigenous. Moreover, he is designing it as he goes… Perhaps just following nature’s lead called instinct, he is using recycled/salvaged lumber and stainless steel.
Looking at the fruits of his labor, I marvel. It is just magical.
Clearly, When something is nature-inspired, sunlight is a distinct design element
Thanks to the abundance of windows and skylights, the spaces will be flooded with light. The new structures are one with the landscape. An olive tree is growing through. It acts as a staircase railing. Every time someone goes up or down, they caress the trunk. There are five shades of green exterior paint. And all five match the foliage exactly.
In short, the more I see this DIYer’s work, the more encouraged I feel. He is angling the walls based on the geometry of the surrounding trees! How cool is that! Somehow, I relate viscerally. His spontaneous attention to detail validates what’s at the core of my life and work. As DIY architect and fanatic, I am all about honoring authenticity and nurturing self-reliance.
At home, feeling nature-inspired, I order his building bible. Do It Yourself Housebuilding: The Complete Handbook by George Nash.
By the way, I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject. I would love it if you shared your own projects with me or suggested a topic. Obviously, you can always contact me here.