Organic Design

Organic Design

Written by April Page on 13 July 2007

Across all art forms and throughout time, designers have been inspired by organic, free flowing, fluid forms found in nature and as a designer I am myself particularly inspired by nature. I remember 10 years ago I visited Heligan Gardens and its magical, ethereal atmosphere has stayed with me and still influences my designs.

There is a wibbly-wobbly tree in the estate ground with lush ferns and tropical plants in the jungle; there really is something to inspire everyone.

Looking further back we can clearly see Organic Design in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. For example, if we consider the work of William Morris and Dante Rosetti... we can see green fields, clear waters and the timeless beauty of winding woodland trails with flowers and acanthus leaves. Check out the Gallery at the Morris Society.

Today the influence of nature is as strong as in the works of artists like Andy Goldsworthy, whose sculpture and photography have clear organic design derivations. We can see that he uses nature's ever changing environment to create beautiful sculpture, where the success of the work is entirely dependent on the elements: e.g. ice sculpture and wood on water.

To emphasise the organic nature of the work he records the sculpture with photography before the elements disintegrate it.

Customers often commission jewellery designers to translate a special or memorable place into an item of jewellery. This can involve capturing the following:


The colour, the rhythm and pattern...swirls, dips, and whirls allow the designer to represent all energies from still water to raging waterfalls.


Here there can often be a focus on colours, textures, tones, lines and space.

Organic design isn't always flowing lines though, can also be formal and geometric, ordered, with a sense of balance and structure. Like nature itself, the possibilities for a designer are limitless.