Nature: Collaborations in Design
Andrea Lipps, Matilda McQuaid, Caitlin Condell, Gène Bertrand
Cooper Hewitt & Cube Design Museum, 2019
Designers today are striving to transform our relationship with the natural world. While the modern industrial age gave way to designs that vastly improved human enterprise through technology, there were unintended and destructive consequences for the environment. Humans are intrinsically linked to nature yet our actions have frayed this relationship, forcing designers to think more intentionally and to consider the impact of every design decision, from an artifact’s manufacture and use to its obsolescence. Designers are aligning with biologists, engineers, agriculturists, environmentalists and many other disciplines to design a more harmonious and regenerative future. Based on these new partnerships, designers are asking different questions and anticipating future challenges, which not only change the design process, but also what design means.
Nature: Collaborations in Design includes over sixty-five international projects from the fields of architecture, product design, landscape design, fashion, interactive and communication design, and material research. More than 300 compelling and exquisite photographs, illustrations and content from data visualizations illustrate seven essays, which explain and explore designers’ strategies around understanding, simulating, salvaging, facilitating, augmenting, remediating and nurturing nature. Four conversations between scientists and designers delve into topics related to synthetic biology, scientific versus design lexicon, and recent shifts in the meaning of nature with a glossary illuminating scientific, technological and theoretical concepts and processes invoked by the designers.