Linking Technology and Nature

Trends / Technology
Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography
Carolina Sampaio Lechner
Aug 29, 2023
It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and you have a stressful week ahead – but in that moment, nothing matters. You are flying over lush meadows, vast mountain ranges and plunging waterfalls in your self‑built flying device – all from the comfort of your couch. You are playing The Legend of Zelda. From the dangers of AI gone rogue1 to environmental conservation2 and climate change, the Nintendo Zelda games speak to real‑world issues and consumer worries. Getty Images' VisualGPS consumer research reveals global anxiety with nearly half nervous about reliance on technology in the future and 73% nervous about the impact of climate change.3

Visualizing tech innovation that is environmentally aware has been an ongoing need for our customers, with visuals of nature overlayed with CGI symbols the most common visual trope. However, our image testing with consumers has shown that outside of Asia and South America, not all regions respond to this trope. Consumers are drawn to educational and vibrant visuals that show care for the environment.4 So, drawing inspiration from the game, what are other ways of showing the symbiosis of technology and the environment in visuals?

Biophilia as visual inspiration
Biophilia (the closeness to and love for nature and all living things) in visuals and design can serve as a differentiator to green sustainability symbols and earthy tones. Show how tech symbolism such as waves and networks appear in nature and nature‑related visuals. Similar to the magic effects of drinking a potion made up of critters in Zelda games, consider showing how technology and nature work together through visualizations of biophilic innovation at a micro‑level with all of nature’s forms, colours, and transformations. With their net zero ambitions, Getty Images and iStock customers are increasingly searching to visualize electric mobility and renewable energy. How can renewable energy visualisations appear in interesting shapes, patterns and landscapes that can be mesmerizing?
Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma hopes5 people will take the imaginative thinking needed in the game into their real lives. In Tears of the Kingdom, you are given the tools for as much experimentation as your imagination and creativity allow. The sky is the limit6 – quite literally.  Why not apply experimentation and problem‑solving to visuals of nature‑tech innovation as well, with collaborative visuals that show knowledge sharing and research?
2 The Gamer
3 Getty Images VisualGPS consumer survey conducted in 26 countries across APAC, Europe, UAE, North America, Brazil and LATAM. Base: 7.501 adults aged 18+ years. Data collected from April 3 to May 2, 2023.
4 Getty Images VisualGPS consumer survey conducted in 26 countries across APAC, Europe, UAE, North America, Brazil and LATAM. Base: 7.000 adults aged 18+ years. Data collected from July 14 to August 22, 2022.
5 The Washington Post
6 The Washington Post
B2B Finance: What's important?