The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. Named "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award" by Metropolis Magazine, it attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.
"We are coming to an era the likes of which we've never seen before, we're in the whitewaters of human history. We don't know what lies ahead. Bucky Fuller's ideas on design are at the core of any set of solutions that will take us to calmer waters.”
– David Orr, 2011 Challenge Juror
NEWS + EVENTS
|Join BFI on Nov. 18th at Cooper Union To Celebrate!
The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) will award and celebrate the winning entry to the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge in an evening ceremony November 18th, 2013 at 7:00 pm hosted by the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.
The ceremony will include a Keynote talk by architect and world-renowned sustainability expert John Picard in conversation with BFI Board Chair David McConville. The $100,000 prize will be awarded to this year's winner, Ecovative, and new in 2013, Dan Hendrix, CEO of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge's first corporate sponsor, Interface Inc., will award additional support to Waterbank Schools! Join BFI, CUISD and Interface for this exciting opportunity to hear about leading edge design solutions from around the globe and to celebrate their incredible work. Please RSVP at bfi.org/2013-ceremony.
|Ecovative Named 2013 Winner
The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is pleased to announce that Ecovative has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge! The materials science company has developed a new class of home-compostable bio-plastics based on living organisms, mushroom mycelia. Read the full statement from BFI review team and 2013 Jury. The Institute is proud to award this initiative that exemplifies Bucky Fuller’s famous quote: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
|Interface Awards Additional Support|
The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) announced that Buckminster Fuller Challenge sponsor, Interface, Inc., has chosen to recognize Waterbank Schools, headed by New York-based designers and social entrepreneurs David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, with a special award of support in this year's Challenge cycle. Read more about this incredible addition to the 2013 Award Ceremony here.
|2013 Challenge Runner Up and Honorable Mentions Announced|
We are incredibly proud of the caliber of entrants to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge this year. After the deliberation on October 7th amongst the distinguished jury, the runner up (Echale a tu Casa) and two honorable mentions (Green Chemistry Commitment and Public Lab), as well as the winner, were chosen as part of the pool of finalists. Read the press release about these incredible initiatives.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge will begin accepting applications for the 2014 cycle in the new year - if you're interested in applying, here are some selected readings specifically to enrich the understanding of Design Science, sustainability, leverage points, etc – all of which speak directly to The Buckminster Fuller Challenge entry criteria and helped the Buckminster Fuller Institute form the criteria and principles. Enjoy the research here!. Stay tuned for the announcement of the next cycle schedule.
Inspired by Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller's prolific life of exploration, discovery, invention and teaching was driven by his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.”
Fuller coupled this intention with a pioneering approach aimed at solving complex problems. This approach, which he called “comprehensive anticipatory design science”, combined an emphasis on individual initiative and integrity with whole systems thinking, scientific rigor and faithful reliance on nature's underlying principles. The designs he is best known for (the geodesic dome, the Dymaxion house, car, and map, and the global electric grid) were part of a visionary strategy to redesign the inter-related systems of shelter, transportation and energy.
After decades of tracking world resources, innovations in science and technology, and human needs, Fuller asserted that options exist to successfully surmount the crises of unprecedented scope and complexity facing all humanity – he issued an urgent call for a design science revolution to make the world work for all.
Answering this call is what the Buckminster Fuller Challenge is all about. Learn more about the Criteria.
You can find more videos of symposia and lectures on The Buckminster Fuller Institute's Vimeo Page.