Experts say that most people and their kids don't get outside enough. Emerging from an increasingly digital age where a large number of people spend the day inside, the phenomenon of nature deficit disorder means that not only are we not getting enough time connecting with nature, we also find it hard to distinguish between different plant and animal species.
Art is another way to combat this disconnection with nature; as in the case of Vancouver-based Japanese artist and self-professed "slow crafter" Hiné Mizushima, adorable yet realistic felted sculptures of fungi and animals could help kids get more familiar with mushrooms in an unexpected yet educational way.
Mizushima's most striking works are her colourful specimens of mushrooms. Details like veins, spots, and proportionally correct caps make these pieces suitable stand-ins for the real thing.
Of course, there's room for the fantastical and for whimsy, like these irrepressibly cute octopi and squid in an unlikely ring of mushrooms, or in a nod to gaming culture, holding vintage Nintendo controllers.
Fuzzy and endearing, these felted facsimiles of nature are a great idea to help nature-deprived people get back in touch, showing that we can create art and design for biophilia. More over at Hiné Mizushima's website and Etsy shop.