2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists Propose Designs for Humanity

International
Friday, August 23, 2013
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Fly's Eye Dome by Buckminster Fuller

Fly’s Eye Dome by Buckminster Fuller (Courtesy NYCDOT / Flickr)

Just as soon as they were announced, deliberation has begun on the nineteen semi-finalists in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. In the spirit of architect Buckminster Fuller’s call for revolutionary scientific design, this international design competition summons participants to innovate sustainable, long-term solutions for “humanity’s most pressing problems.”  This year, the jury has chosen projects that vary in subject and method, re-envisioning current global systems or addressing specific gaps within them.

Each submission is judged on adherence to Buckminster Fuller’s idea of a “preferred state model,” one whose initial conception leads to the most desirable outcome. Criteria include relevant vision, comprehensive strategy, anticipation of future effects, ecological responsibility, feasibility, verifiability, and opportunity for replication in similar conditions.  Projects must also be accurately timed for advantageous change.

The semi-finalist projects are:
· The Loowatt System
· Regenerating Healthy Soils Through Sustainable Sanitation (SOIL)
· Mushroom Packaging (Ecovative)
· Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science
· Bioenergy Value Chain
· Healthy Watersheds for Clean Energy
· TBS River Regeneration
· The Green Chemistry Commitment
· International Bridges to Justice Training Resource Center
· Voltree Acoustic Early Detection Sensor System
· 100,000 Homes Campaign
· Eliminating Poverty Through the “Traffic Light” Strategy
· Echale a tu Casa
· MASS Design Lab: Building Systematic Change
· Build Change’s Homeowner-Driven Technical Assistance for Safer Housing
· PITCHAfrica: Waterbank Schools
· Ento
· Olazul: Ecological Shrimp Aquaculture
· Agroforestry Reconnecting People and Nature

The 2013 entries focus mostly on global topics concerning ecological and condition of life improvements. Holistic solutions that are locally and globally applicable, they range from the introduction of insects into the Western diet to a design laboratory dedicated to socially responsive architecture.

The jury will continue deliberation into the next six weeks, concluding with a final, in-person negotiation on October 7th. On this date, they will also host a public discussion at Marfa Dialogues in New York City.

See details of each semi-finalist entry here.

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