Collab Gallery, first floor, Perelman Building
From the botanical wallpaper of William Morris to the streamlined cutlery of Zaha Hadid, design has always found inspiration in nature. This exhibition examines how designers of handmade and industrial objects—including furniture, pottery, kitchenware, and even a 3-D printed neckpiece—have responded to the beauty and fragility of the natural world.
By bringing together nature-inspired objects from the past century and a half—and examining the forces that shaped them—this exhibition offers a fresh look at the power of design.
Nature and the Anxiety of Industry The Arts and Crafts movement that flourished in the late 1800s saw nature as a refuge from industrialization. Designers like William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright aimed to bring the beauty of the natural world into everyday life. Nature was also a key theme for Art Nouveau around the turn of the century. Designers working in this more unruly and animated style drew inspiration from the sciences, especially botany, deep-sea zoology, and microscopy, as well as art theory and psychology.
Colin Fanning, Curatorial Fellow in European Decorative Arts and Sculpture