How to Let Nature Inform Your Design Decisions?

Micène Fontaine, April 8, 2021

The exhibit “Learning from Nature: The Future of Design” was about to open at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) when the pandemic shut everything down. I never made it to the exhibit, but the underlying idea (relearning from nature) is increasingly featured in both trade and mainstream design publications.

In my post "Is Nature the Future of Design?", I reflected on the fact that architects, artists, designers, gardeners, poets, and scientists alike are all inspired by nature. As humans, we have long relied on the plant world to heal, protect, and thrive, yet it seems we have also forgotten many of the lessons learned along the way.

From biophilia to biomimicry to biodesign, the beauty of nature-inspired solutions is that they have a proven track record of contributing to healthy buildings. Biophilia can also do wonders alone (for our health and well-being), and can be augmented with the power of science and technology. The benefits are undeniable. Check out our "Biophilia and the Wisdom of Nature" Change by Design session if you want to learn more. Sites like are making it easier than ever before to (re)learn from nature, and books like Julie Watson’s Lo-TEK encourage us to (re)learn from indigenous building techniques.

Whether you go for the low-hanging fruit of incorporating nature in your designs, decide to look into using more vegan materials such as leather made from cactus, or go for the high tech materials from the plant world stemming from the work of nanobiotechnologists such as Oded Shoseyov, now is a beautiful time to look to nature. Whatever you feel inspired to do, it will be time well spent.

Here is to (re)learning from nature to effect change, by design.

:Change by Design