d3 Natural Systems 2016

Submission: August 15, 2016
Registration: August 01, 2016
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: $1,500 USD in total
Type: Open


The study of natural systems offers architects and designers significant potential as a platform for alternative, ecologically-performative design strategies. The d3 Natural Systems competition invites architects, designers, engineers, and students to collectively explore the potential of analyzing, documenting, and deploying nature-based influences in architecture, urbanism, interiors, and designed objects.

Established in 2009, the annual d3 Natural Systems competition is an established voice in alternative architecture and one of the most notable awards in speculative, performance-based design. It recognizes exemplary ideas that redefine design as an ecological project through the implementation of advanced technologies, materials, and social interventions that engage adaptability, globalization, and emergence. Published in London-based Wiley-Blackwell AD journal’s theme issue “The New Pastoralism: Landscape into Architecture” as a leading example of environmental innovation, the annual d3 Natural Systems competition is a critical voice in ecological architecture and design.

The 2016 competition calls for innovative proposals that advance sustainable thought and performance through the study of intrinsic environmental geometries, behaviors, and flows. By identifying, examining, and applying their structural order on form and function–bottom-up, performance-based solutions for limitless building typologies, functional programs, material conditions, and products may be realized.

Emergence suggests that design expression requires purpose beyond formal assumption and aesthetic experimentation itself. Concurrent with sustainable thought, the d3 Natural Systems competition assumes that architecture and design not simply form, but rather perform various functions beyond those conventionally associated with buildings, spaces, and objects. Submissions must be environmentally responsible while advancing inventive conceptual solutions. Although proposals should be technologically feasible, they may suggest fantastical visions of a sustainable global future.

The d3 Natural Systems competition allows designers freedom to approach their creative process in a scale-appropriate manner–from large-scale master planning endeavors and individual building concepts, to notions of interior detail and product design. Although there are no restrictions on site, scale, program, or building typology, proposals should carefully address their selected context. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, the d3 Natural Systems competition welcomes work of all scales from design disciplines including, but not limited to, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental design, interior architecture, interior design, industrial design, interaction design, furniture design, and fashion design.


First Prize
$1000 cash prize

Second Prize
$500 cash prize

Third Prize
$250 cash prize


All architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, and students are invited to participate. d3 encourages submissions by interdisciplinary design teams.

∑ Individual or group entries are accepted

∑ No limit on the number of participants per team

∑ $50 USD/entry

∑ Registration deadline is August 1, 2016

∑ Submission deadline is August 15, 2016 registration process

Registration fees are paid using the secure link below via PayPal. Click ‘REGISTER’ to navigate to the fee payment system. Upon receiving your registration fee and contact details, d3 will e-mail a four-digit entrant number to the e-mail contact address provided. The unique four-digit entrant number will be used to identify your presentation boards.


In accordance with sustainable methods, the d3 Natural Systems Competition is a digital endeavor. No hardcopy submissions are required. Entrants must submit their proposals by August 15, 2016 (23.59 hours US Eastern Standard Time) to the following email address: d3competitions@gmail.com Include your Ďentrant numberí in the message title: (example) Submission #9999 The submission must contain the following electronic files:

1. Two Presentation Boards in PDF Format Entrants will submit two presentation boards. Each presentation board must be 24Ē x 36Ē (60cm x 92cm) in horizontal format and may include process, plans, sections, perspectives, diagrams, renderings, and descriptive text. Participants are encouraged to submit all information necessary to graphically illustrate their concept. Each board must be tagged in the upper right corner with the entrant number. Apart from the entrant number, no other form of identification is allowed. Your two (2) PDF presentation board files must be named with the following convention: entrant number followed by the board sequence number. (example) board 1: 9999-1.pdf, board 2: 9999-2.pdf

2. Contact Information as PDF (.pdf) 1 page Provide name(s) of Project Team Member(s), e-mail contact information, telephone number, country of origin or residency for all team participants.

3. Statement of Design Intent as PDF (.pdf) 1 page general guidelines Each individual confirms that he/she has the legal right to submit the project as a competition entry. Entrants ensure that permissions associated with submission to the d3 Natural Systems Competition have been obtained from the architect of record, designer, and owner. d3 bears no responsibility for verification of entry submission authority. All entries are accepted with the explicit free right of publication, reproduction, and promotional use by d3 and its sponsors without need for further approvals. d3 shall bear no responsibility for copyright protection of competition submissions. d3 reserves the right to expand any prize category and designate special awards per discretion of the competition jury.

Go to the competition’s website