(adam štěch) Nature will always represent an unlimited source of inspiration for all disciplines of human society – and for design in particular. Three American designers learned a lot about the perfection of nature when they were invited by I.D. magazine to a natural science classroom. Thus, a unique collection of objects inspired by nature was created.
Todd Bracher, Anna Rabinowicz, and Philip Worthington received a unique opportunity to visit the natural science depository at The Rhode Island School of Design. A natural science depository in a school of design? Yes, it is true. The school’s 80,000 flora and fauna species, displayed in an impressive old-fashioned environment, have provided inspiration and work projects for students for 72 years. For the first time, professional designers were also offered the possibility to study them.
Each author approached the school collections in a specific way. Todd Bracher, who designs furniture for Fritz Hansen and Zanotta, found inspiration in natural structures. Honeycombs, bones, bird nests, and branches are the basic construction elements in nature. Bracher created a minimalist Dedron LED lamp inspired by trees that makes use of the most simple structural support. “I wanted to materialize a home atmosphere that would be reminiscent of a typical romantic setting under a tree,” said Bracher. The lamp consists of a delicate structure of black and white sticks.
Anna Rabinowicz plunged under the sea. Coral structures turned into useful everyday objects. Her first product, a metal sieve, applies natural structures for the same purpose as its natural model - i.e. to filter water. Thus, purely natural functions progress one step further (as far as material is concerned, in particular). Her second product is a pair of flippers that make use of the natural motion of coral twigs in seawater. “I did not want to design flippers that would allow you to swim extra fast. My flippers are good for relaxed swimming in the way corals sway in sea streams,” explains Rabinowicz about her concept.
British designer Philip Worthington focuses on interactive digital design. In 2006, he moved to New York where he co-founded the Mogulus agency. As for the natural science study, he found inspiration in the flight of dragonflies and butterflies. He created a special animation that simulates the flight of various insect species. The designer attempted to visualize the feelings of flying.
This stimulating project, prepared by I.D. magazine, proves that designers are constantly and inexhaustibly interested in the natural world. The immediate inspiration from nature that leads to its artificial imitations seems to be becoming one of the predominant trends in contemporary design.
Todd Bracher, Anna Rabinowicz a Philip Worthington v kabinetu