Architecting the Future-New York
"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 of design are at the core of any set of solutions that will take us to calmer waters.” – David Orr, 2011 Challenge Juror
– David Orr, 2011 Challenge Juror
Below is a follow up to the Architecting the Future events held in New York City, June 8-10, which culminated in the 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Conferring Ceremony. There are a few surprises at the end. So whether you missed events or want to re-live the experience, Enjoy!
Included are exclusive videos from Keynote speakers David Orr and John Thackara; the acceptance speech by the 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Winner, Al Harris of Blue Ventures; video excerpts of a panel discussion led by William Browning of Terrapin Bright Green, on Urban Solution Sets; and a video featuring the 2011 Finalists.
About Architecting The Future
There is a movement afoot--of highly motivated individuals all over the world seriously engaged in coming up with solutions to the mounting set of problems we face. These design pioneers and social innovators are not waiting for large scale institutions to deliver us to a sustainable and abundant future. They understand the critical role they play as the change agents for the future we all want to see. These are the type of people whose projects are entered into the The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, featured in the Idea Index 1.0 and shared in the Architecting the Future forums.
Concepts, ideas, intellectual notions and ways of thinking and doing are shared through real-world tangible projects at the Architecting the Future forums. The aim is to highlight, accelerate and advance a practice of whole systems design, taking us one step beyond— jumping to the next "higher-order" of design. This emergent design competence is making it easier to understand, explore and act upon our most pressing global issues, the goal being to reconcile them. Design Science is an approach developed by Buckminster Fuller, nested in our programs, it is used as an orientating framework to help usher in this movement.
Download Event Program (17.1MB PDF) Here
David Orr tracks the legacy of the design revolution that is underway and the part Buckminster Fuller and the Buckminster Fuller Challenge play. He also offers constructive criticism about some questions Bucky left unasked around politics and spontaneous cooporation.
John Thackara lends his perspective on the value of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge and the critical importance prolific systems thinking will have on our ability to transition to a restorative economy.
Reflection on his talk can also be read on his Doors of Perception Blog Here
Al Harris of Blue Ventures accepts the 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Prize including a check for $100k. In this acceptance speech he explains what a privilege it is to work with the Vezu community. He goes on to say that despite the enormity of the threat and the seemingly insurmountable challenges they face, they have managed to be brave and take significant risk to revive their coastal areas and improve their livelihoods. They are a beacon of hope for the kind of brave acts we all need to take to improve our global environmental crisis.
As a result of reviewing entries through the unique lens of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge criteria, we have been able to identify extraordinary examples of comprehensive, integrated strategies that address the urban environment. What has emerged is a pattern of relationships across these urban solutions that imply a level of cooporation and synergy not being discussed, taught or practiced. For this event we brought together urban educators, artist, planners and developers to explore the notion of urban solution sets as a framework to consider advancement around practices that impact the generation/regeneration of our cities.
Several urban related projects from Idea Index 1.0 were shared to demonstrate areas of affinity across methods and strategies. These projects can be referenced on this page and are not in the video below. Then each participant was invited to anecdotally introduce themselves by way of the projects they are involved in (Part 1 of 2). After, William Browning of Terrapin Bright Green led a roundtable discussion by posing provocative and practical questions to the group (Part 2 of 2).
Hillary Brown, New Civic Works + 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Juror
William Browning, Founder, Terrapin Bright Green + 2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Juror
Tom Glendening, Project Lead for E3NYC
Stacey Murphy, BK Farmyard + 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Finalist
John Thackara, Doors of Perception founder and internationally renowned design pioneer + 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Juror
Additional Video and Content Worth Exploring:
2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Finalists
Each finalist is providing a powerful solution to the world’s most significant challenges.
Blue Ventures -- Improving the livelihoods of the world’s poorest coastal communities while conserving the biodiversity of threatened marine environments.
FrontlineSMS--Enabling social organizations in undeveloped regions around the world to leverage the power and reach of mobile technology.
Participatory Mapping in the Congo Basin -- Empowering forest communities to use cutting edge mapping technologies to prevent deforestation and alleviate poverty.
TARA Akshar+ - Delivering rapid literacy programs to millions of impoverished women in India.
On October 19, 2010, the Buckminster Fuller Institute hosted "Architecting the Future" in conjunction with the 2010 Bioneers Pre-Conferences. What follows are talks given by Bonnie DeVarco, an ongoing contributer to BFI, and David McConville the new Board President of BFI.
Bonnie DeVarco lays the groundwork for the day by discussing the design science principles, people and projects.The Design Science pedogogy is what informs the Challenge criteria.
Download Presentation (PDF) Here
Below are two videos. The first is David McConville's presentation, the second is the extended version of the video presented at the beginning of his presentation by Coalition of the Willing. His talk started with the section on networks (8:41 of 2nd video) and he went on to respond to Copenhagen events using the video to demonstrate that the essence of the Challenge is part of a meme and we are already doing and thinking in this way across the globe.
However, he warns that we are simplifying things too easily or reducing it to just a CO2 problem. We need to acknowledge the complexity of the challenges we face and advance the practice of whole-systems integrated solutions. This is what the Buckminster Fuller Challenge and Architecting the Future Forums are all about.
On June 3, 2010, the Buckminster Fuller Institute hosted "Architecting the Future" at American University's School of International Studies as part of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge events in Washington DC. In addition to presentations by 2010 Finalists, Semi-Finalists, and the 2009 Winner, BFI invited two renowned design thinkers to present Keynote addresses, Dr. Michael Ben-Eli and Hardin Tibbs. Watch their presentations in full below.
Michael Ben Eli discusses the renaissance of the concept of "design" and how all aspects of human activity are manifestations of a design process and what that implies about our role as human beings on the planet.
Hardin Tibbs reflects on his influence from Buckminster Fuller, saying that he gave people the license to think "Big" and how he started his own journey along such lines. He goes onto speculate a future scenario about the transformation of humanity via its emergent and evolutionary qualities as a system, including space for the "spiritual".
Selected Documents from the Challenge Resources Page
WORLD DESIGN SCIENCE DECADE DOCUMENTS
These documents comprise a series entitled "World Design Science Decade." They originated with the proposal made by R. Buckminster Fuller to the International Union of Architects (I. U. A. ) at their VIIth Congress in London, England in July, 1961. He proposed then that the architectural schools around the world be encouraged by the I. U. A. to invest the next ten years in a continuing problem of how to make the total world's resources which [in 1961] serve only 40% serve 100% of humanity through competent design despite a continuing decrease of metal resources per capita.
In essence, The World Design Science Decade series of documents suggests, in great detail, ways in which world architectural schools, and specifically their students, should initiate, and assume The Design Science Decade. The total series includes many of Fuller's most prescient ideas.
A note from the series editor, John McHale:
"Though the language of some of the texts may seem difficult at first approach, it should be borne in mind that one of our major problems in thinking today  is the use of language systems which still represent a fixed, structurally compartmentalized world view. The terms available to us for the expression of dynamic, rather than static, concepts are far from satisfactory. Fuller's language is particularly representative of the 'transitional state' (of the western world) between the older, traditional, noun-centered culture to its present day, changing, verb-centered culture'. In his search for an adequately descriptive terminology he tends to employ concepts and usages from many different fields juxtaposed in ways which may be unfamiliar to those more customarily restrained within the vocabularies of particular disciplines."
Phase I (1963) Document 1:Inventory of World Resources Human Trends and Needs by R. Buckminster Fuller and John McHale [pdf 4.1mb]
Phase I (1964) Document 2:The Design Initiative by R. Buckminster Fuller [pdf 113mb]
Phase I (1965) Document 3:Comprehensive Thinking by R. Buckminster Fuller [pdf 3.8mb]
Phase I (1965) Document 4: The Ten Year Program by R. Buckminster Fuller and John McHale [pdf 75 mb]
Phase II (1967) Document 5: Introduction to Comprehensive Design Strategy by R. Buckminster Fuller [pdf 1mb]
Phase II (1967) Document 5: Comprehensive Design Strategy by R. Buckminster Fuller [pdf 222k]
Phase II (1967) Document 5: Chronofile by R. Buckminster Fuller [pdf 73k]
Phase II (1967) Document 6: The Ecological Context Energy and Materials by John McHale [pdf 89mb]
Document I: The World Game (1971)The World Game: Integrative Resource Utilization Planning Tool by R. Buckminster Fuller.
Audio Recording from the Standford Media Center:
"9 in the Morning" WTOP-TV with Buckminster Fuller, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, Washington, D.C.
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