The Nature-Centered Design (NCD) Library is an open-source guide and collection of resources to support curious explorers who want to practice expanding their worldview of creativity and problem-solving to include all living things in our known universe.

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NCD Guide

This field guide to Nature Centered Design is the core of the NCD library – crafted from years of experience, education, and guidance in the many aspects of the Nature Centered Design cycle.

This guide is a gift to those looking to explore the abundant creativity that nature has to offer and awakens in each of us.

We hope you enjoy it!

Nature-Centered Design, an Introduction

A. Hello, and welcome!

Welcome [NCD Guide]

B. Nature Centered Design (NCD)

In this section we will explain the concept of Nature-Centered Design, its alignment to the Design Thinking process, and what makes it so important to use today. Click below to read the Nature-Centered Design section of the NCD Guide.

Nature Centered Design [NCD Guide]

C. NCD Mindsets

Before you jump into the NCD cycle, there is preparation to be done. In this section, we will highlight common and important mindsets for us to be aware of and utilize throughout the NCD process, as well as how to frame your challenge using a "How Might We" statement. Click below to read the NCD Mindsets section of the NCD Guide.

Mindsets [NCD Guide]

The NCD Cycle


Rest is where the NCD cycle begins, and it is a phase that we recommend revisiting often.

We begin by grounding our feet to the earth and pausing before we become curious about the world around us.

Rest [NCD Guide]


Grow is focused on moving out of our heads and into the world where we can explore themes, notice patterns, and begin insights.

Here we choose one idea to explore what we notice and practice curiosity and learning.

Grow [NCD Guide]


Bloom is the peak season of expansion. Notice what ideas or solutions have grown roots.

How might you apply what you’re learning and noticing to amplify ideas and solutions?

Bloom [NCD Guide]


Finally, we harvest. This is where we celebrate what we learned and created.

Harvest is also a time for reflection and release. However, it’s not an ending. Instead, we prepare to begin again.

Harvest [NCD Guide]


The Stacks