Our current industrial processes have done untold harm to our planet. Our greatest tool in the journey to heal our planet and sustain our world into the future is employing 3 billion years of biomimetric practices. Ask Nature offers a new path, no longer taking from nature, but instead offering an ever-growing repository of solutions to learn from, emulate, and honor nature.
Ask Nature is a project of the Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the practice of looking to nature for inspiration to solve design problems in a regenerative way.
Design a visual identity system and website that would open Ask Nature up to a broader audience, inclusive of artists, students of all ages, as well as the scientific and research communities.
The solutions offered through biomimicry should be accessible and understandable to everyone, regardless of prior scientific knowledge. The previous iteration of Ask Nature was focused on a site-wide Search feature. Users of the site needed to know how and what to search for in order to access information. In the new Ask Nature site, we needed to create a browsing experience, so no prior knowledge of biomimicry is needed.
2020 — Ongoing
Ask Nature’s new identity references a lens. The “a” in Ask acts as a holding shape for photographs on a micro or macro level to show the different perspectives biomimicry takes when analyzing our biological world. The color palette was inspired by the colors used in old field guides.
To meet the needs of a new, broader audience with varying levels of familiarity with biomimicry, we created a browsing experience for the site.
The collections section of the site has evolved into a content platform for an ever-growing community of creators, innovators, and designers to write and share biomimicry strategies and ideas.
In the Biological Strategies section, better connections were made to the living systems they evolve from. Visitors can now easily find detailed information including patent numbers and the organizations conducting the research.
What used to be a simple list of resources for educators has evolved into a robust teaching tool, including hands-on activities and curriculums based on grade level.
The site is built to find and surface definitions of words throughout the site. On click or hover key biomimicry terms trigger a fly-out definition, which is populated by the Ask Nature team on the back-end.
We were inspired by the biomimicry principle of self-healing in managing site users that create user profiles. The site itself is self-healing, with a script built within that automatically clears any defunct or spam users from the database.
The visual language of field guides, the biomimicry principles of nesting, branching, and self-healing
“We have access to a 3.8 billion-year depository of research and development that no human civilization could ever try to catch up to.”
– Azita Ardakani, Advisor to Ask Nature
Information Architecture, Wireframing, User Experience Design, User Interface Design and Development, CMS Development
The living world holds answers for us to create a more resilient, regenerative, and beautiful world.
Verbalizing design is another act of design.Kenya Hara from Designing Design
Your culture (whoever you are) is as important as our culture (whoever we are).Colors Magazine
A designer’s role is a role of good citizenship.Milton Glaser
The goal of design is to elevate expectations and make something artful.Paula Scher
We have to overcome the obstacles and rise up to the challenges.Emory Douglas Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party
Graphic design is not a luxury, but a necessity.Wim Crouwel
Consider everything an experiment.Sister Corita Kent
Good art inspires; Good design motivates.Otl Aicher
Design is art that people use.Ellen Lupton
Design is just language and the real issue is what you use that language to do.Tibor Kalman
To complicate is simple.Bruno Munari
To simplify is complicated.
Everybody is able to complicate.
Only a few can simplify.
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