Over this past year our attachment to public spaces, shared environments and nature itself has been forced to shift. ND has been reflecting on the changes which we have observed and wanted to catch up with a collection of designers which all share an affinity to or harness the powers of nature. 

Creative Conscience is a brand which focuses on environmental and social creative solutions, the subject of nature and the natural world has always been in the forefront of the organisations mission. We caught up with them to discover how they are using their vision to create a better and healthier world through the innovation of design.

After a strange year we are reflecting on our connection to the outside world and how it has shifted. Tell us, has your brand re-connected to outside environments or have your perceptions of the natural world changed?

I suggest our team has been more present to nature during the lockdown, with less studio time and working remotely, this has meant that we have built in rituals like daily intentional walking, exercise in the park etc. Being based in the city the quality of the air has improved with less pollution, it’s been really noticeable. When the weather is clear we take more opportunities to be outside and yes enjoy public spaces including empty city streets. ‘Walk and talk’ meetings on our mobiles have also been a new joyful experience.

Tell us, what are your predictions for our public spaces and the relationships we have built with them during these times of uncertainty. Do you think they will continue to hold a significant part in our lives when normality arrives, or will they become of a forgotten era.

That’s up to us, whether we choose to go back to the way things were or learn from this experience and keep the positive outcomes alive, of which there are many, we just need to continue to tap into them, build on them. I heard recently that there is no ‘they’ there is only ‘us’, that felt true. ‘We’ are society, we can’t expect things to change unless we become actively involved in building a better, more compassionate and fairer future.

A thought from a Chinese proverb which shares this concept, ‘When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, some people build windmills’. Who would you like to be?

We are now officially one year on from the beginning of lockdown; what do you think we have learnt? How has this effected or improved creativity?

We have learnt that nothing is certain, and from uncertainly comes fear, and yet this is not a time to be fearful. Paul Hawken (please check out – Project Drawdown) states ‘that if we believe that we are screwed, it stops imagination, innovation and creativity’. These are exactly what we need to solve our most pressing challenges.

Over the last year, Creative Conscience has been sharing Paul Romer’s (Economist – Stanford University) philosophy that ‘a crisis is a terrible thing to waste’. We believe that creative thinking is what the world needs now more than ever and we know creativity can positively build a better world.

McKinsey recently released a report titled “The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021 and beyond” which outlined a number of key trends shaping the year ahead. In it they state: “2021 will be the year of transition. Barring any unexpected catastrophes, individuals, businesses, and society can start to look forward to shaping their futures rather than just grinding through the present.” They also predict that “The COVID 19 crisis sparks a wave of innovation and launches a generation of entrepreneurs” because “disruption creates space for entrepreneurs.”

We learn most through challenges not from the things that come easily to us. If we can embrace the challenges we face and lean into them we can create a better world and better lives for everyone.

The Awards briefs that you have created for the Class of ND 2021 ask designers to produce a design which will improve the environment or provide a social impact on our society for the better.

What would be your advice for emerging designers when first embarking on a project?

Dive deep into a subject that you are passionate about.

Passion for a subject will help you succeed with greater ease and you’ll enjoy the process more. Look to the future, what kind of world is approaching us, how can we help create and design for that world solving some of our most pressing challenges. Design and create zero carbon products, cradle to cradle systems, look deep into possible solutions, be curious. Build concepts that could have the greatest positive impact, look at systemic and behaviour changing ideas that can reach as many people as possible. Think big, be brave, enjoy yourselves.


on the effects these changes which have formed within society. We have been fascinated  have been considering what impact this has had on designers who harness nature has their biggest influence. 

We caught up with jewellery designer and Class of ND19 alumni, Florence to find some answers to our questions. The  

In 2019 she founded her company, Object Cor ltd, inspired by nature and motivated by tactility. In 2020, Florence intrigued our selection panel and was chosen to be a OYI exhibitor as they were fascinated with this designer’s passion to capture the mundane interactions of the everyday and create a collection which is influenced by the sensory inputs which arise from spending time within nature. 

within the nostalgic elements of the outside world, creating a collection which holds the joys and brings a mindful presence to designing with the tactility of nature in mind.