Earth Day is a good reminder to all of us to consider our impact on and our connection to our planet and to nature. As designers, not only do we have a responsibility to create spaces that are good for people – that inspire, and support health and happiness – we also have a responsibility to consider the legacy our designs leave. That can take many forms – from using more sustainable or recycled materials to bringing natural elements into the design to provide people with stronger connections to nature.

Plant Wall Interior DesignLiberty Media: Use of a plant wall and natural stone and wood finishes creates an indoor ‘outdoor space’ with playful furniture and gathering areas that connect people back to nature.
Interior Design with Sustainable WoodCamp BowWow: Sustainable wood and animal-friendly (low VOC/non-toxic) finishes allow two- and four-legged clients to utilize the space to its fullest and bring the animal element of nature indoors.
Bicycle Storage Interior DesignBarco: Creating an easily accessible and highly visible bicycle storage area encourages alternative commuting methods and a more active workplace.
Outdoor Views Interior DesignSolidifi, a Real Matters Company: Wide open vistas allow for uninterrupted views of the outdoors while an art piece by a local artist/photographer highlights the native aspen trees, further pulling nature inside in an unobtrusive yet enveloping way.

Looking Ahead

As we continue to consider our impact, it’s important that the design industry take a leadership role in advancing conversations on materials, waste and the adaptability of the designs we create (e.g., it’s more sustainable to create spaces that can adapt without demolition). It’s one more reason why good design is so crucial – it tends to last.

We’re also encouraged to see an increased focus on design that takes its cues from nature. Nature is good for us, and by consciously including natural elements in our interior design – known as biophilic design – we can help people reconnect with those benefits.

Nature is also a great teacher. With biomimicry we’re seeing incredible potential as technology and design converge to bring about innovation by drawing inspiration from biological and natural components and processes. The approach can be seen everywhere from the tech industry to building products, architecture to fashion.