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The psychology of organic shapes in design: how do shapes affect our well-being?

Sustainable conscious ethical earrings worn by Julia in the Swedish Archipelago

The psychology of organic shapes in design: how do shapes affect our well-being?

Maybe you have already seen it, or maybe not yet: apart from sustainable jewellery, we
recently also added some exclusive interior design pieces to our webshop, which are made to
order in collaboration with Tim van Caubergh and are now available for purchase. All interior
pieces are hand built in Utrecht, just like all of our jewellery pieces are handmade, in organic
shapes inspired by both the movement and stillness of nature. In today’s blogpost we will tell
you a little more about why we choose to work with organic shapes, and how organic shapes
in design influence their beholder.

The psychology of shapes

Shapes are curious things, are they not? Shapes in interior design have the power to alter the feel
of the space entirely, just like choices of shape in jewellery design do not only determine part
of the aesthetics of the pieces, but they may also influence the person who wears them. Why?
Because when humans view or otherwise come into contact with shapes, a myriad of
psychological processes take place. Shapes can be used to transmit certain emotions, thoughts
and perceptions to their viewer, often on a subconscious level. For example, square shapes
tend to bring a sense of stability, strength, reliability and seriousness due to their rigid look.
Circles are the complete opposite of squares: with their roundness they convey a feeling of joy
and friendliness, or even mischief. And triangles, for example, are associated with sharpness
and danger, but also with guidance and divinity as they point upwards, to the sky. So, each
shape has its own meaning and influence on the viewer.

Qualities of organic shapes

What about organic shapes, then? Organic shapes are shapes that bear comparison with
patterns found in nature, such as those in plants, animals, rocks, trees, flowers, and other
natural elements like water and sand. Organic shapes often share characteristics with circles,
as they tend to be curvilinear (meaning they usually have curved lines). Yet, as organic shapes
are not geometric or symmetrical like circles, they often convey an even greater sense of
freedom, lightness, play and ease. There is something ephemeral about organic shapes,
something undefined, as they can represent so many different things: softness and strength,
fragility and freedom, stillness and dynamism.

Connecting with nature: bringing the outside in

Organic shapes are strongly connected to the natural world in more than one way: firstly, they
remind us of natural objects, elements, flora and fauna. And secondly, as curvilinear shapes
have no beginning or end, they may also make us think of eternity or recurring cycles, like
those in nature: the rising and setting of the sun, the seasons coming and going. Adding
organic shapes to your interior helps bringing the outside in, creating the same peace that
nature brings within your home. Similarly, wearing organically shaped jewellery, clothing or
accessories allows us to carry a piece of nature with us, always.

How do organic shapes impact our well-being

Organic shapes bring us peace and pleasure because of their connection to nature. And in
connecting us to nature, they connect us to ourselves: as we are nature. And the human body,
too, is made up of organic shapes, so these forms somehow feel familiar and emotionally
linked to us. They also transmit a feeling of calmth, flow and harmony, like watching drops of
rain form and deform, observing the movements of water or leaves or sand dancing and
shifting in the wind: just as nature does, organic shapes speak to our souls.

Julia Otilia is a sustainable, ethical and fair jewellery brand based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Are you looking for a new piece of sustainable jewellery? Don’t forget to check out our

Archipelago photography: Anna Sjöblom