Designed for Biophilia: Mindful Furniture Enhances Love for Life

© Autumn Workshop

For nature-lovers who have limited or no access to a green space, a strong connection to nature can be an elusive thing. But it doesn't have to be, if green designers diligently step up to the challenge. Brooklyn-based design and "experimentation studio" Autumn Workshop, a collaborative collective founded by Daniel Goers in 2011, are producing intriguing and functional pieces that attempt to fulfill our undeniable bond to nature and other forms of life, also known as "biophilia."

© Autumn Workshop

It's an interesting approach that takes humanity's natural affinity to life as a given, rather than as an afterthought. Autumn Workshop's pieces are Zen-like in demeanour, using repurposed and recycled materials. Take for example this Test Tube Vase Holder, which Goers describes:

We had some scrap 1/4″ thick blue felt laying around. And I have thousands of test tubes that need to be turned into something. After an excessive amount of brainstorming on how to turn these things into a unique vase without just drilling holes into a log, we developed a system of ‘pinching’ the test tubes... Made from blackened steel, scraps of spanish cedar, blue felt, and test tubes.

© Autumn Workshop

The result is a lovely display that is almost Montesorri-esque, allowing flowers to be both decoration and specimens, in line with the studio's spirit of experimentation. Ditto for this simple but striking Red Flask Vase.

© Autumn Workshop

A recurring theme of Autumn Workshop is "merging habitats with furniture," like this smart ensemble of glass jar terrarium, re-mixed as a standing lamp, and a simple, boxy hanging garden lamp.

© Autumn Workshop
© Autumn Workshop
© Autumn Workshop
© Autumn Workshop

This Topo Bench, made from reclaimed ipe wood, is one of my favourites -- I wonder if the blocks could be movable, but nevertheless inviting you to sit, touch, and possibly build, plant more and appreciate.

© Autumn Workshop
© Autumn Workshop
© Autumn Workshop

These Fungus Wall Art picture frames are brilliant -- a mycological version of the famed rock garden at Ryoan-ji.

© Autumn Workshop

There's an admirable sensitivity, respect and creative craftsmanship in many of Autumn Workshop's pieces, and in a world where that biophilic bond between humans and all of life is constantly being thwarted, trumped and short-changed for short-term profits, we need more designers thinking like this. More projects and process photos over at Autumn Workshop.

Tags: Furniture | Gardening | Recycled Building Materials | Recycled Consumer Goods

Best of TreeHugger