Nature’s design

‘Plants are smart’. 

My daughter said to me on one of our walks. ‘They move toward the sunlight. Let’s move toward the sunlight too’. And so we did.

She has declared that she is going to be Botanist, to save trees and plants. On our walks she picks up flowers that have already fallen. We take them home and pop them into a jar with water. And just like that, it awakens. 

Have you ever stopped and looked closely at flowers? At the design? They have a super effective strategy for covering area and absorbing sunlight – organizing themselves in an optimal design.  

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The number of petals in many flowers, thought not all of them, follow the Fibonacci sequence. 

Fibonacci numbers, derived from Indian and Arab Mathematics, is a 
series of numbers where the next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …

The seeds in the sunflower are arranged at 0.618034 (Phi) per turn (out of a 360° circle) which allows for the best possible exposure to sunlight. If you take the ratio of successive Fibonacci numbers you get closer to Phi or the Golden Ratio.

The Golden Ratio is actually seen in nature quite a lot – from pinecones to pineapples, branches of trees, shells, waves in the ocean, hurricanes, the cochlea of the inner ear and so many other parts of the human body, to the galaxies in our universe. 

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We can borrow from nature’s designs. 

In 2011, 13 year old Aidan Dwyer did. He discovered a new breakthrough and more efficient way to collect solar energy using the Fibonacci sequence, increasing solar collection. 

Some have even applied the Golden Ratio to brands and logos. 

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Nature shows us how we build efficiently for function – how to structure things in the best way and space, using the least amount of energy, with the highest degree of efficiency.

When building anything, my preference is nature’s way. The most efficient way.

From weekend planning to designing online experiences, to products, marketing campaigns or media plans, the more complicated route seems to be common place. It requires effort to simplify the complex.

Throwing every and anything at the wall – to customers or yourself – is easy. Taking a more mindful approach, being selective, designing with purpose and thinking about how you help the human in the end is not so easy.

‘People think focus means saying yes to the things you’ve got to focus on. It means saying no the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully’. ~ Steve Jobs.