May 1, 2010
The Great Indoors
A fresh crop of products brings nature home.
As we’ve become more sensitive to how we impact the environment, there has been a move to connect with nature by greening our urban spaces. Vertical gardens and green roofs are sprouting up in unlikely places, balancing city high-rises, concrete surfaces, and industrial materials. And starchitects from Jean Nouvel to Renzo Piano have embraced green walls or roofs for their economical, sustainable, and aesthetic values.
But you don’t have to plant a green roof or become an urban farmer to bring a little nature to your home. Solutions are now available on a much smaller scale: DIY kits allow you to build your own vertical garden or living wall. Looking to put nature to work for you? A designer and a Harvard scientist have figured out a way to transform any household plant into an air purifier. And if you want an organic feel without the actual greenery, there are a host of nature-inspired furnishing and lighting designs, including a lamp that takes its form from sticks and a chair in the shape of a leaf. The products shown here are examples of how green thinking is taking root.