Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is an organization after Inhabitat’s own heart. It was formed by the visionary eco architect/designer’s family in 1983 to champion Buckminster Fuller’s amazing legacy and provide the design world — and the rest of humanity, for that matter — with the tools we need to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Buckminster Fuller was a “full systems thinker” — he was a renaissance man who foresaw the problems we are facing now decades before anyone else, and came up with innovative, thoughtful ways to solve humanity’s most pressing problems around energy, shelter and natural resources. Sadly, this amazing man is no longer with us, but The Buckminster Fuller Institute marches forward in his name with a handful of thought-provoking programs for designers. Their flagship initiative is the Buckminster Fuller Challenge design competition to provide solutions to complicated social/environmental problems. Inhabitat covered the BFI Challenge finalists back in April, and we are thrilled to announce the winner of the competition here in our latest video! Watch our video profile (above) to learn about BFI, Bucky’s legacy, and the inspiring winner of last year’s $100,000 prize.

Along with the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, BFI has a number of programs that champion Bucky’s comprehensive anticipatory design science model. They hold lectures, seminars, workshops and hands on training programs as a part of their Design Science Education initiative. The largest program is the Design Science lab, a 7-10 day immersion in the study of design science. They hold Prototype labs where artists, designers, engineers and thinkers come together to physically build structures that re-contextualize Bucky’s ideas.

They also have an immense library of artifacts and information from Bucky’s life and beyond. This is split into two parts – the Study Center is located in Brooklyn and is a wide reaching library of information from Buckminster Fuller’s own research. The Idea Index is a comprehensive list and researchable database of all of the entries to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge over the last few years — the Idea Index is available online. The Buckminster Fuller Institute is championing the legacy of one of Inhabitat’s favorite thinkers while pushing contemporary designers and engineers to follow in his footsteps by looking at the big picture.

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