A fascinating exploration of exquisite images captured from natural materials, and of their applications in fashion, environmental design, and apps that anticipate a new era of digitally-driven individual creativity. Data From Nature begins with the chance encounter between an ammonite and a digital scanner and goes on to relate the author’s growing immersion in the micro-scale beauty of minerals and—thanks to new digital means of production—their applications in wide areas of design. These include an award-winning range of silk scarves for Liberty of London (also sold in Saks Fifth Avenue); “frocks from rocks”; a striking architectural façade in London, and the transformation of his own house and garden using the latest digital techniques.
Along the way we learn about how minerals form in the Earth; ways they have been admired and imagined from ancient civilizations to the dawn of Modernity; and discover how the inlaid surfaces of Renaissance cabinets of curiosity could inspire creative coloring and design apps intended to equip children and adults alike to participate creatively in the Digital Revolution. And as if all this weren’t enough, the book ends as improbably as it started with a short biography of a “lost” (for which read “fictional”) seventeenth-century artist, Carlo Alcite, whose “works” reveal powers of invention and draftsmanship worthy of a baroque master.