Designing from Nature

Week five was full of group activities that lead to designing on the spot sustainable designs inspired by nature. Getting to work together in groups on these activities really works to test our brain power for quick designs that could be sustainable proving to us how quickly a simple design solution to a problem could be incorporated and made real with enough brainstorming and inspiration behind it. The outdoor activity at the botanical gardens was an enjoyable outing as a class. It was nice to sit with my learning community group and brainstorm sustainable solutions using the actual physical environment around us as inspiration. The activity of walking around on a scavenger hunt to find elements that would describe something ugly, living or decaying and using these objects we found as inspiration to solve a sustainable product in our field from a different perspective. It gave me a realistic perspective to how biomimicry would actually work in the interior design field when comparing the many similar functions that a tree has and comparing them to purpose that buildings serve in our everyday lives and using surround elements like large leaves as shingles on a roof to wick away water. It was beneficial to be a visual learner and actually get to see and feel the living elements around us that we describe in our sustainable solutions.

I think that my groups inspiration for the design slam really reflected what we saw when walking around the botanical garden. Our problem was to design a storefront that wasn’t boring or boxy and was more inviting and sustainable. With that in mind we designed a storefront that incorporated Raven windows which are energy efficient self-tinting windows, a mosaic design from recycled color glass, and a rain water collection system that would flow down to water the small garden located under the awning. Its strange that these were the types of sustainable design solution that we chose because on Tuesday and the botanical gardens we really enjoyed the recycled multicolored glass bottle tree inspired sculptor and the gardens that were surrounding us with positive and inviting vibes. Seeing the connection now is great to know that our group had used Tuesdays reviving time in the garden to be inspired for the designs of the storefront. It really opened up our creative thinking to design something for the design slam presentation. Some of the other group presentations that I thought were creative and interesting was the vortex shoe that was created by recycling plastic bottles to create plastic threads to be re-spun into a working shoe that could be recycled melted down and re-spun again to make a new shoe. This example did a great job of explaining the cradle to cradle scenario. The other group that I thought did a great job of creating a sustainable design was group four’s creation of conserge the energy saving controlling device that would be installed to turn off power outlets or lights that weren’t used after a certain extent of time to keep from wasting any unused energy.


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