Designers have always looked to nature for inspiration, trying to capture its beauty and manifest it in products and architecture. This process usually at best results in organic lines, colors and forms and somehow lacks the essence of what we love so much about the great outdoors. French designer Noé Duchaufour Lawrance copies not only what nature looks like, but also how it feels in his collection, Naturoscopie.
The Parisian Galerie BSL commissioned Naturoscopie for Design Miami/Basel 2012. It is a collection of furniture and lights that channel nature rather than simply copying it. One of the most striking of the collection is undoubtedly the twig-like leaf fixture. Irregular geometric shapes with rounded corners are attached to carbon fiber twigs. These shapes hold a number of LEDs within reflecting kaleidoscopic light off colored mirrors creating an effect like dappled sunlight. Next in the series are monolithic coffee tables made of smoky Plexiglas. These tables pulsate from within like the northern lights. At first site, the bookshelf seems just like any of the many other tree-inspired pieces of furniture out there. But what sets it apart is the way that the thin, closed-loop “branch” twists, splits and turns around the shelves, as if it was overrunning an ancient temple. A desk light, consisting of a plastic honeycomb shade and LEDs, mimics the shadows created by cloud blowing over a field.
The materials, colors and shapes in Naturoscopie are not what one would expect to see in a collection inspired by nature. Angular, smooth, and somewhat cold they are certainly manmade. But the feelings they elicit are so close to the real thing you’d be forgiven for believing you were outdoors.