Flowers : just one of the many sources of inspiration for a Designer...


People often ask me where my inspiration for my buildings comes from. 

I'm sure that anybody in a creative profession gets asked the same thing!

But my answer is generally "nature". 


Because while I love to be inspired by artworks, by other architecture, 

by books, by music, by fashion, 

it's generally by studying how nature puts shapes, textures, colours 

and structure together that I derive most "aha" moments of clear inspiration.



This morning, as I walking along an ordinary street,

I happened upon a hedge of these madly-flowering camellia bushes.

And while my first thought was "What, flowering already? It's only just Autumn",

my very next thought was to reflect on the excitement of change in the landscape:

the importance of seasonal change. 

The camellias flower in early winter here in Melbourne

(I can't ever remember them flowering quite this early)

but nonetheless,

they are one of the elements of the cooler season that we look forward to,

because they are incredibly beautiful, structurally fascinating whorls of petals,

and they provide a sense of movement against a sea of dark green leaves.


They are also a reminder of the beauty of the cooler season,

and the treasures that belong purely to that part of the year.


The camellia plant takes advantage of the cooler

season to attract insects with its globular, glowing flowers.

There is less competition, so the flowers become the star of the show.


Now in a building, that can be interpreted as the need for responsiveness 

to a changing climate throughout the year. 

Because the very best buildings are built to celebrate each season:

they are cosy in winter, with angles to invite the admission of winter sunlight,

with spaces that whisper "snuggle",

with deep velvet chairs and sparkled lights.

But those same fabulous buildings should also sing of summer,

with open spaces, tall windows & shaded alfresco terraces,

to invite the summer sun where and when it is desired. 


Because in architecture, just as in nature, 

there is a time and a place for everything,

and even a humble little camellia flower can teach us a thing or two

about the importance of change,

the delight of responding to it,

and how to attract attention when it's wanted!


This collection of thoughts is my contribution to the international blogger's forum - By Invitation Only, whereby a group of very differently-thinking bloggers each jot down their thoughts on a given topic, on one day of the month each year. This month's thought was "how do flowers bring us inspiration". To read the other entries, click here