Design Inspired by Nature: Alex Carpenter
As the desire for authenticity grows, we're seeing an resurgence in craft and hand-making practices. For this insight we spoke to Alex Carpenter, founder of Arbor, a homeware products brand that connects to woodlands and the environment.

As the desire for authenticity grows, as well as increasing concern as to elements like wellness, sustainability and the environment, we’re seeing a resurgence in craft and hand-making practises. For this issue we spoke with Alex Carpenter, founder of Arbor, a homeware products brand that connects to woodlands and the environment, with a focus on the beauty of the raw material.

How does nature inspire you?

I have a great reverence to source and to nature; there is nothing better for me than to be outdoors and away from distraction to open up to inspiration. Wood is at the heart of my work and the unique characteristics that each piece of timber holds is always in alliance with my design.

What does authenticity mean to you?

For me authenticity is following a line of truth and inspiration that pulls you from a place of desire and core values, which occasionally requires courage to see things through and can make for a pretty interesting journey. In my work that means taking inspired action and following ideas that excite me.

How do you consider sustainability in your designs?

On a material level all my timber comes from within a close radius; either from managed woodlands, local arborists or fallen timber that I gather myself. It’s important to me to use what is available and not over consume; which means that sometimes my pieces are limited to a single batch in that particular timber

In your opinion, what connects people to nature, and how does nature affect personal wellness?

Our bodies intrinsically know we are nature; that nature feeds our minds and our bodies. At a more conscious level the meaning, experience and value that we give to nature is increasing because it is under threat and our awareness that we better function when in alignment with nature is growing. My sanctuary is the woods which always energises me and clears my mind for ideas and clarity to drop in.

How would you describe the environment of your favourite workspace?

On a functional level materials and tools are easily accessible, organised and importantly sharp; so the process of making is as frictionless as possible. Good lighting is also so important, and for me music is also high on the list as it has the potential to change our energy and mood which feeds into the work.

“As the earth is giving us louder and more frequent messages that she is not well, it is the responsibility of each of us to be more aware and make more conscious choices in how we produce and what we consume.”