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How Nature Inspires Design Concepts

How Nature Inspires Design Concepts

Paige Schnarr |

“How do the Designers think of new product ideas?”

Inspiration can come from anywhere - Even a walk through nature. The Design Team went to Bruce Mill Conservation Area’s Treetop Trekking and Treewalk Village for a day of refreshing the mind. The treewalk includes ziplining, treetop trekking on aerial bridges and a treehouse village.


The Design Team does an activity every month to team build, brainstorm and to leave the office environment to grow ideas and refresh their minds. This month’s theme involved nature, which senior design lead Sung wook Park says, was meant to help the team be free from distractions and to help ideas flow freely during their brainstorm session.

Sometimes these field trips can produce potential product ideas. This was the case for one of Umbra’s summer interns, Chris Lee. Chris was inspired by the aerial bridge crossings and created a concept for a new project.

“Walking through a forest and looking from below is something I see regularly, but being high up in the tree canopy gave me a refreshing perspective of nature and how tall trees really are. The way each platform sits gracefully on each tree, connected by a series of wires and platforms gave me new ideas and inspirations on the current project I’m working on.”


Umbra is no stranger to nature in their design concepts. Here are a few products inspired by nature and what exists within it.




Coming in a pack of three, Zoola Ring Holders are modelled after animals such as llamas, elephants and bunnies. These ring holders make great gifts and can hold 8 or more rings per holder.


Tipsy Bottle Opener - inspired by a bird’s flight - is definitely a conversation starter. It balances on its own balancing stand or on any edge surface and is decorative, as well as functional.


Inspired by the design of a picket fence, Picket Rail Hook is a handy wall mounted coat rack with 5 hooks that can hold up to 5lbs, which can flip up to transform into wall art.