5 Essential Books for Designing with Nature

Green Building

5 Essential Books for Designing with Nature


Originally published on April 3, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog.

With Earth Day right around the corner, nature starting to bloom, and summertime travel plans coming together, it is a great time of year to reflect on the intrinsic affinity we have for nature in all its wonder and beauty.

Perhaps you’re a design professional who finds instruction and inspiration from nature? The emergence of biophilic design and biomimicry as widely revered design influences speaks to the indispensable contributions the natural worlds provides to our lives. We do not just have a symbiotic relationship with nature, we are one in the same. We are nature. Waste is a human-made concept and is indicative of a fundamental design flaw. Efficiency is a limitation we place on our creations and processes in response to this design flaw.

What does it mean to truly design with nature? This is a question not easily answered. Certainly not in an oversimplified blog column. So, in honor of Earth Day and all things that spring forth from the dormancy of winter, I would like to offer a shortlist of books that have had a profound influence on my perspective of what it means to “design with nature.”

The following list offers five essential readings – in sequential order – for any designer (in any industry) interested in obtaining a foundational knowledge regarding designing with nature.

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