Umair Zia’s art flows from the theoretical premise that life is a synergistic outcome of the design processes in nature. It is only after atoms reorganize themselves in a certain way that life manifests itself. Zia’s art is an extension of Sir Richard Buckminster Fuller’s dream of a world that works for all life.
“The clutch is in, will we shift up or down? It’s Utopia or Oblivion.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller
Besides visualizing his own books, Umair creates drawings and diagrams for all those needle-moving, heart-warming, planetary projects (books, poems, blogs, and scripts, etc.) that are either inspired by or are simply concerned with Nature. His ink-on-paper hand-drawn sketches are robust in detail and full of meaning.
For interest and inquiries, please send an email at: [email protected]
Umair Zia’s book, ‘Tree Tech: 50 Lessons for Humanity’ (Not a Cult) is an exploration of the wisdom of the trees in 50 life lessons. Directed by Nicolas Alcala and Roxi Shohadaee, Tree Tech is Umair’s personal journey to establish a dialogue with the millennia-old magnificent beings that hold some of the wisest secrets available to humanity. It’s a thrilling and spiritual quest to understand biomimicry and the hidden ancient technologies of the trees. Previously, Umair has published multiple research articles. He is a member of the editorial board of ii International Journal of Interior Architecture + Spatial Design.
For research opportunities and general inquiries, please write at: [email protected]
Umair Zia is creating a number of games inspired by the forces of nature and by the hidden processes of the natural world. His first game project is an art puzzle by the title, ‘Perpetual Places’.
Perpetual Places is an art set comprising three forgotten megastructures from ancient human civilizations. Each one of these structural marvels utilizes perpetual motion technology to regenerate energy and perform spatial functions. Besides games, Umair also creates poetic and interactive environments Topia. He is widely recognized as the leading architect for designing cities and immersive environments in the virtual space.
For general inquiries on Perpetual Places and other gaming concepts, please send an email at: [email protected]
Umair is a PCATP-licensed architect, well-known for his visionary concepts for the future of the cities. His work is deeply grounded in theory, and his projects have been exhibited at multiple platforms including Venice Art Biennale, Arctic Perspective Initiative, eVolo US, Urban S.O.S., and Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat UK. He was the finalist of 2011 CTBUH Why Tall? design competition.
For consultation on architectural projects, design commission, and planning review, please email at: [email protected]
NatureGadget.com is Umair’s bio-mimicry design journal inspired by Sir Richard Buckminster Fuller’s masterpiece work on Synergetics. It is a project of the Living Systems Collaboratory.
Nature gadgets germinate from Umair’s theoretical premise that life is a synergistic outcome of design processes in nature. It is only after atoms organize themselves in a certain way that life manifests itself, and if those interrelationships are lost, so is life. A Nature Gadget is a tool created with the latest technologies that mimic this natural process — the gadget becomes “alive” when its technologies are organized synergistically.
To explore the possibilities for prototyping and more, please send an email at: [email protected]
NatureTutor.com is an inspirational gallery of all those visionary artists whose work is inspired by nature.
“Not everyone has the drive or clarity to learn from the complex processes of nature and to apply that knowledge directly. In my teaching experience, however, I observed that almost all students took inspiration from the work of other artists.
Therefore, I started building up an archive of all the observant visionaries- nature tutors who teach us through their own genius, creativity, and their deep understanding of nature. These case studies provide inspiration to students, particularly in the early stages of their art, design, and science projects. This initiative will always be free for anyone to use.”
— Umair Zia
Knowledge-seekers may simply browse through the website or they could search for a natural element, a particular function, or an organism in nature, and see how some of the greatest artists took inspiration from it and created art. (Enter ‘water’ in the search bar, for instance, and see the results.)
For support or general inquiries, project, please send an email at: [email protected]
Design Juries & Talks
Umair Zia delivers inspirational talks and seminars on the following topics:
- Bio-mimicry in the Age of Complexity
- Bio-mimetic Design through Scales
- Design Synergies
- On Learning from the Nonlinear Living Systems
- Introduction to the Nonlinear Processes in Architectural Design and Urban Planning (for Architects and Urban Planners only)
- Nature’s Cross-programming
- Complexity and Visualisation
- Diagraming the Unpredictable
Umair is frequently invited for design juries of nature-inspired projects at schools of architecture and product design.
To book Umair Zia for an online talk or design jury, please send an email at: [email protected]
Please arrange for the jury of projects that are inspired by nature and natural processes only.
An architect, author, systems illustrator, and living systems technologist, Umair Zia leads the visualization of complex systems with an emphasis on synergy across scales and disciplines.
|| About Ümair Zia
A multi-disciplinary designer, Umair founded Living Systems Design Research Group at the National College of Arts, Lahore in 2010 where he established and pioneered the synergistic design process for nature gadgets, fusing craftsmanship and nature to deliver projects that align with principles of technological sustainability. Umair became a regular assistant professor at NCA in 2017.
Umair completed his Masters in Architecture from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore in 2015. Prior to that, he earned B. Arch degree from NCA, complementing pre-engineering studies at the Government College University, Lahore.
In 2020, Umair was admitted to the first cohort of the Design Science Studio (The Buckminster Fuller Institute + HabRitual) where he joined the Living Systems Collaboratory (Emergent Media Lab, University of California, Irvine). He launched multiple projects in collaboration with the studio, in addition to the tens of previous design and research publications, and inventions. He became a student of Fritjof Capra and protégé of systems philosopher, Mansoor Vakilli in 2021.
Umair’s work has been recognized at Venice Art Biennale (2017), Arctic Perspective Initiative (2015), Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (2011), and at several local and international platforms.
This section will be updated soon.
Department of Architecture, National College of Arts, Lahore
For general inquiries: [email protected]