Nature x Design
How the world around us inspires sustainable innovation
Mother earth and in-turn, natural selection, are the preeminent designers and architects of our world. - everything we see is a subject of natural selection. Now, a movement to more sustainable living focuses on the inclusion and inspiration of nature. Below, we take a look at some products inspired and moulded by the true matriarch of innovation: nature.
Haeckels, the British skincare and wellness brand synonymous with ocean-inspire innovation, is evolving sustainable skincare once again. Central to their mission to create products that are uncompromising in aesthetic, whilst respecting the environment and ensuring efficacy, Haeckels, have just launched their “Bio Restore Membrane” a grown-to-order under eye mask designed to have completely zero waste, from packaging to product.
Derived from nature, the masks are made of an ultra-hydrating jellied seaweed substance known as agar. When fused with aloe vera, witch hazel, cucumber and hyaluronic acid, and placed underneath the eyes, the degradable sheet eye mask cools, soothes and reduced visible signs of tiredness. The masks are truly grown-to-order and when a purchase is made, the mixture is grown for 3 weeks before being sent off for use in a pack of 18. A revolutionary formula and concept, inspired by the ocean.
The Berlin based brand Kind of Blau, who’s namesake offers hints of their “water first, fashion second” approach to design and development, utilise an interesting material and process for their hoodies and sweatshirts. TENCEL™ Modal fibres are a super soft fibre extracted from naturally grown beech wood by an environmentally responsible integrated pulp-to-fibre process. Harvesting of the beech wood derived fibre is self-sufficient in energy and recovers co-products from component parts of the wood.
Italian designers Simone Caronni, Paolo Stefano Gentile and Pietro Gaeli recognised the waste associated with fast-food habits, and have created an ecological packaging for chips (or fries if you’re across the Atlantic) made from upcycled potato skins. The sustainable alternative to paper, made by macerating, drying and bonding the starch and fibre components of the skins, offers an ironic inside-out approach to packing, giving the God-given exterior an adapted function.
Looking back at Milan Design Week 2019, Italian Architecht Carlo Ratti grew, yes, grew, a series of arched structures from mycelium, the fibrous root of mushrooms. Utilising nature for wider purpose, the installation in the Milanese botanical garden, Orto Botanico di Brera, fulfils Ratti’s quest to discover more responsible “living” architecture. Now the viewing is over, the archways have been shredded and returned to the earth as compost.
A collaboration between the British designer, Bethan Gray, and natural surface specialist Nature Squared, saw the creation of an elegantly presented pearlescent and iridescent furniture set made from leftover seashells and feathers.
The byproducts of the fishing and meat industries, natural resources usually considered waste, were upcycled for their light-influencing properties and formed to create a series of patterned tables, stools, shelving units and lounge chairs.
These innovation go beyond the typical expectation of what nature inspired design can achieve. From chip-packets to under-eye masks, utilising the materials that exist around us rather than developing synthetic alternatives will help drive a more sustainable earth. To hear more like this, subscribe below and we’ll plant a tree in your honour.
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