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Nature has always been a source of inspiration. At this year's iF DESIGN AWARD, lots of products and built projects create a new harmony between human and natural environment.
Whenever natural elements surround us, we feel right at ease, less stressed and in touch with ourselves and the environment. A trend strongly recognizable in hospitality as well as in residential by seeking to balance between ecological value, comfort, and modern design. Many architects and designers have understood that there is a perceptual dialogue between the space and individual and thus environments for individual well-beings.
The use of natural materials, the consumtion of less energy and water, or keeping the building cool with green facades — the charactericitcs of more sustainable hotel and residential buildings are as varied as nature itself and the innovation grade of products from categories like building technology, lighting, bath, and kitchen.
From nature-themed designs to the use of natural materials, bringing the outdoors in plays an important role in creating a space that exudes simplicity and tranquility. Some people don’t even have much free time to spend outside due to working conditions or health circumstances and for them, integrating natural elements in their interior design is another way of reconnecting with nature.
Nature is also an essential inspiration for everyday products since it creates a more productive and healthier environment for people. In a world where we heavily rely on digital processes and technology, organic elements give us a feeling of being connected with nature. For instance, wood and greenery add a warm, vibrant texture to a room, while striking finishes like stone or stone veneer give the design a contemporary twist. The mantra is: Being respectful of the environment is a given.
At this year's iF DESIGN AWARD, lots of modern hotels, guest villages and building complexes are honored in the Disciplines Architecture and Interior Architecture and show major hospitality trends. The gold awarded "Morelli" holiday home in the mountainous landscape of Tuscany, for example, uses local materials such as cotto and bog oak in all its rooms. "Six-Direction Meditation Courtyard House" even includes religious aspects of Buddhism. "OSOL" is gold awarded and a one-of-a-kind public art pavilion that mimics a pine forest and stands on a tidal beach in South Korea. The folding doors of "Tranquility House" to the garden is an illustrative example of making the boundary of in and out ambiguous. All of them in celebration of the alluring beauty of nature.
More and more architects and designers keep sustainability in mind these days to create projects in harmony with nature. It seems like they are aware of the harm made by a world heavily characterized by plastic consumption and choose materials that are easily associated with topics of reuse and recycling. These ideas are accompanied by a new naturalness, to which the use of local materials makes a decisive contribution. Designer and iF juror Marta Alonso Yebra advices: "In situ manufacturing is a good example of how to reduce waste and CO2 since it brings together ways for dealing with local materials and crafts from different cultures."