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
On behalf of all of us at the Buckminster Fuller Institute, thank you for joining us at our 2013 awards celebration on Monday, November 18. The inspiring work of all nineteen Buckminster Fuller Challenge semi-finalists was on display and we were thrilled to host a dynamic mix of leading designers, architects, artists, scientists, educators, students, entrepreneurs, community organizers, and visionary industry members.
We are proud to have presented Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer of Ecovative Design the prestigious OmniOculi and the $100,000 grand prize, as winners of the 6th annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Read more about the event. If you attended, please feel free to give us feedback about the evening.
|Nominate a project!
We are looking for visionary social and environmental solutions from across the globe. Do you know of a project that demonstrates integrated problem solving and whole-system design? Please enter their project name and contact information through this form, and we will be in touch!
|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.
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.