The Everyday Items That Tried to Look Like Nature

When I’m browsing the internet for inspiration (mostly for home decor, or the odd blog idea), it’s often quite startling to see the number of items that have been designed to look like nature. Most of the time, I really don’t get along with this style of design. Why mimic nature when you could just harness it instead? For example, this ‘bamboo curtain’ could easily have been made with actual bamboo instead!

I don’t doubt that there’s the right Himalayan salt crystal lantern out there for everyone, but unfortunately, most designers’ endeavours to mimic nature just fall a bit flat. So, here’s a couple of the most cringeworthy examples, along with one (the Vype Pebble) that actually succeeds in replicating some of the characteristics of its real-life counterpart.

 A Blast From the Past With Motorola

Everyone remembers the Motorola PEBL, right? It had to be one of the first ever flip phones that achieved serious popularity. This was also one of the first times I remember seeing technology being marketed as something ‘from nature’. I can still see the television advert to this day; while it was quite long, it clearly left a strong impression.

The advert showed the viewer the life of the PEBL; how it started as life as a meteorite, then through years of erosion and various other natural impacts (it spent some time under a glacier and on the seabed), the PEBL is born. It is then found on a beach by a human, whose face we never get to see.

While the PEBL was a popular phone (15 million of them were sold in 2006 — the same as the BlackBerry Pearl), the fact it was split in half down the middle and could flip on a hinge kind of discredited its ‘pebble-like’ features. Credit where credit’s due: this phone was charming and I can definitely remember all my friends wanting one. But this was more because it was the latest phone — not because of how much it resembled a rock.

 The Famous IKEA Rock Lamp

IKEA is the unquestionable king of flat pack furniture here in the UK. While you can certainly find a great deal of quality and value within their seemingly endless showrooms, there are the odd occasions where all you are left with is a poorly designed product that looked good on paper (and in the showroom… how do they do that?!)

One of these examples is IKEA’s Solvinden outdoor lamp. Made to look like a rock, to sit outdoors absorbing sunlight for its solar-powered batteries, it’s a good concept. No electricity, no expensive batteries; a great way to create ambience outdoors, you cry. But this ‘rock lamp’ makes little effort to camouflage itself in any convincing manner. Instead, it looks uncomfortable and out of place, like a badly told joke!

Stoptober and the Vype Pebble

Last but not least, we have the Vype Pebble: something of a diamond in the rough in our search for accurate rock replicas. Of course, the different-coloured versions of Vype’s latest e-cigarette could never be mistaken for the real thing, but the Vype Pebble does fit perfectly into your hand. The smooth surface and comfortable weight do actually remind you of mother nature’s creation.

With the NHS Stoptober campaign finally supporting e-cigarettes as an aid to quit tobacco, models like the Vype Pebble could become even more popular.

The Vype Pebble is so easy to just pick up and use that it can act as a straightforward way to help people give up cigarettes for good. The Stoptober campaign states that if you fulfil your pledge to not smoke for 28 days, you are five times more likely to quit smoking completely. Devices like the Vype Pebble, with a ergonomic feel and total ease of use, give smokers a better chance than ever to be able to reach these targets.

E-cigarettes are quickly becoming the UK’s best option to develop a smoke-free society — something I think every parent would like to see!

This is a collaborative post.

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