- Category 1: Design Brief for Nature Gadget
- Category 2: Text Brief for Nature Policy
- Category 3: Portfolio Brief for Nature Tutor
- Submission Deadline (All three categories): 15 SEPTEMBER, 2020
- Results (All three categories): 10 NOVEMBER, 2020
- Publication of Book: MID-DECEMBER, 2020
- Nature gadgets on NatureGadget.com
- Nature policies on NaturePolicy.com and
- Nature tutor profiles on NatureTutor.com
- Umair Zia teaches at the National College of Arts, Lahore which is the oldest art school in Pakistan. His nature-inspired projects have been featured at multiple international forums including Venice Art Biennale (2017), Adaptable Futures (2012), CTBUH (2011), Arctic Perspective Initiative (2009-10) and World Architectural Festival (2009). Umair Zia is a member of the first cohort of Design Science Decade at Buckminster Fuller Institute.
- Q: Can teams participate in nature contest?
- A: No. Nature Contest seeks only individuals with extraordinary talent and vision.
- Q: Can participants submit more than one entry?
- A: No. Due to the large number of entries we receive, we can process only one entry from each participant. We encourage all participants to submit their best work only.
- Q: Can participants enter more than one category?
- A: No. An individual participant may submit an entry in only one of the three categories. We encourage participants to submit their best work in the most suitable category only.
- Q: Is there a fee for participating in nature contest?
- A: No, there is no fee.
- Q: Is there an age limit?
- A: No. There is no age limit. Individuals from all ethnicities and parts of the world are welcome to participate.
- Q: Is there a separate registration process before submitting the entry?
- A: No, there is no registration process. Please, see the submission requirements for each category before emailing your entry.
- Q: How do I submit my entry?
- A: Please, attach your submission files with an email and send the email at: email@example.com. See submission requirements for more details.
- Q: Do all the winning entries get published in Nature Tutor magazine?
- A: Yes, the winning entries from all three categories get pubished in the Nature Tutor magazine.
- Q: Why are there four different websites: Nature Contest, Nature Gadget, Nature Policy and Nature Tutor?
- A: Nature Contest is the world’s most comprehensive contest of ideas inspired by nature. Each year, we receive design entries, literary works, artworks and portfolios of extraordinary accomplishments. All design entries and visual concepts are featured on NatureGadget.com. All written entries including short essays and works of fiction and non-fiction are featured on NaturePolicy.com. All profiles of extraordinary individuals, who have developed a sound portfolio of works inspired by nature, are feature on NatureTutor.com. We also publish an annual magazine under the same title, ‘Nature Tutor’ that features outstanding ideas inspired by nature.
- Q: Who runs Nature Contest?
- A: Nature Contest is run by an international board of trustees. The board comprises permanent and temporary members with distinguished academic backgrounds. The only common interest among all the members of the board is an inexorable love for nature. The board is chaired by a Pakistani Architect and academic, Umair Zia. If you would like to join Nature Contest, feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking inspiration from the processes of nature is called biomimicry which is found in the history of all professions. Everything we see in nature including ourselves is an outcome of 4.2 billion years of research and development. Our own mental capacity is linked to our understanding of nature. It is easy for us to see how technology has changed in the last 20 years because we are at the receiving end of technology. But the creators of technology know that this transformation would not have been possible without new lessons from nature. The way we understand nature today is radically different from the way we understood it only a few decades ago. For example, once we considered the brain as the CPU of a body centrally processing all its functions. But over the last few decades, we have discovered that even skin alone can adapt to multiple changes at the same time (through molecular-level reorganizations). And that our immune system is actually a complex adaptive system. This new knowledge of complexity in natural systems has made organisms much different from how they appeared only a few decades ago. So, how do you see nature today? Do you think that nature can guide us in solving the problems of humanity? Also, what stops you from envisioning a future inspired by nature? Is it lengthy protocols of publishing scientific research or is it our school culture that discourages asking questions? Nature Contest invites you to think big and bold without worrying about details. We are looking for the essence of your revolutionary thought- albeit articulated clearly either through drawing or through writing. If you can propose a nature-inspired design solution to a self-identified problem or a policy which benefits entire humanity, Nature Contest is looking for you.
We suggest that you start off by looking at the sketches of Abbas Ibn Firnas and Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci combined different compounds to make his own color pigments and went on as far as digging up graves. He would dissect human organs to understand their anatomy and his cross-sectional sketches are published in medical books to date. According to him, if we could mimic the shape, size, mechanics and proportions of a bird in a scaled-up version of similar machine then that machine would fly as well. This theoretical premise turned out to
be untrue but it laid down the foundations for research which transformed the way we travel today. Similarly, Sir Richard Buckminster Fuller would famously gather up his students before the start of his lecture. He would ask them to find out only the latest published research on a given topic. Once the students had caught up with the latest research, Fuller would share his thoughts from that point onward. It is tragic that such passion seems to be becoming rare now. Our educational system effaces the natural curiosity of a child and we get bombarded by endless images, news, and information all the time. We do not feel the need to observe nature and create with da Vinci’s tenacity or Fuller’s rigor. On the other hand, those of us who take the initiative find out soon enough that it is nearly impossible for an individual to invent new technology. There are two main reasons for it.
Firstly, technology has advanced to a point where companies, not individuals- and most companies that collaborate with other companies- have the resources to make technological innovation. Secondly, the patenting process has become way too complex and expensive for most individuals to begin with. The silver lining in this, however, is that young visionaries are now compelled to dream bigger. Extraordinary individuals have no choice but to envision a future at the scale of humanity. Nature Contest is committed to promoting such talent. We create space between unfounded dreams and over-structured research. We encourage free thought but a well-informed and well-articulated vision. If you have an idea so big or so deep that it seems silly to you, or you believe that you cannot execute it alone then Nature Contest is the place for you to compete with other revolutionaries like yourself.