Dogged Devotion

201708FocIt is often said that dogs are man’s best friend. They are loyal, protective and at times hilarious (we’ve all put in the hours watching video compilations online, haven't we?) so it makes sense that we would want them around us. If you're a dog lover or even if you just know one, the idea of having a dog-related sculpture or dog-patterned fabric for cushions and/or curtains isn't outrageous. The same goes for other animals and not necessarily creatures with which we share a particular affinity. Living in our square rooms and our linear hallways, there is something very natural and organic about in-troducing the wild into our homes.

Thousands of years ago cavemen drew very accurate animals on cave walls, demon-strating that from pretty much the beginning of time humans have understood the im-portance of our relationship.

The relationship between humans and animals dubbed ‘the animal connection’ has played an important role in human evolution and it is believed that humans hunted alongside wolves, eventually leading to them becoming domesticated and assuming their position as ‘best friend’ to mankind.

Perhaps therefore it is almost unintentional that we design and buy things for our homes that remind us of this connection. Innovation is often inspired by nature which is considered the best designer of all time - ‘biomimicry’ being the imitation of the models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems.

“When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked over long periods of time is the natural world.”
-Janine Benyus

Interior design has always borrowed colours, patterns and textures from nature and the outside world continually provides endless inspiration for creative minds. Some designs are considered more abstract or obscure while some are literal and installing actual living nature walls has never been so popular, nor have they been so readily available.

The use of animals in interior design can also inject a little humour into a space. Les Trois Garcons in Shoreditch, East London famously sported a taxidermy bulldog wearing fairy wings. Like something from Victoriana-meets-a-Fellini-movie the style created wonder and wild confusion (the good kind), creating a dream-like environ-ment that was talked about and photographed. These concepts are no longer exclusive to commercial spaces and it’s actually very liberating to push the beige-boundaries which might have once been considered the norm.

Maybe the style reminds us what it means to be human - a link to our early ancestors. Maybe we just like playing with colour and pattern. Whatever the urge, it’s one that should not be fought and a style that can be reinvented again and again. It doesn’t go out of fashion; like us, and with us, it simply evolves.

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