NEW YORK CITY (July 17, 2018) - In honor of the 123rd birthday on July 12th of renowned futurist and inventor, R. Buckminster Fuller, the Fuller Challenge team has unveiled a curated archive of over 350 of the best entries received over the ten year history of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Challenge prize program.

Organized by geographic location, impact areas, and status achieved in the Fuller Challenge selection process, this collection of projects reveals a stunning diversity of design initiatives at work in the world today which span the planet. Each project selected for inclusion was rigorously vetted for adherence to the program’s now renowned comprehensive, whole-systems design criteria. The archive, designed and curated by a team led by Fuller Challenge Program Manager Megan Ahearn, showcases an emerging field of practice of comphrensive, whole systems designers and will become an indispensible tool for students, educators and the design community seeking successful models and case studies to investigate and replicate.

"When we set out to create the Fuller Challenge we hoped to accomplish a few things: we wanted to honor the legacy of Fuller and create a prestigious program that would encourage innovation and recognize integrity; we hoped to draw attention and support to the thinkers and doers applying a comprehensive, whole-systems approach to designing solutions to the great challenges we face today; we hoped to use the tool of an innovation prize to demonstrate the importance of the whole systems approach and its integral function in design-thinking; and we set our sites to inspire a new generation to take up Fuller’s Challenge to transform our world through design, by showcasing world class projects and celebrating the people behind them”, remarked Elizabeth Thompson, Founding Director of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. “Looking back I think we made progress toward a few of these lofty goals and I am very proud that this prize has been recognized as an important honor for those in the social innovation and design fields. With the conclusion of this program we felt it important to offer an accessible public archive of the best projects in the hopes that others will draw inspiration from and lend support to this remarkable field or practice."

To celebrate the impact of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, Whirlwind Creative - a multi-talented creative firm based in New York City - has created a 28 minute film about the 10 years legacy and impact of the program. The film's creators, David Lackey and Terren Baker, conducted dozens of interviews with the Fuller Challenge winners, jurors, review team members, and others to create a profile of the program. Released in conjunction with the curated archive of the whole-systems design innovations, the film provides an inspiring context and makes a compelling case for the importance of this approach to addressing the interrelated issues facing the world today.

The film will be screened at design and sustainability film festivals and conferences this fall. Check the link below for further information.


The Fuller Challenge was made possible by the generous support of the following individuals, organizations and foundations: a/d/o, The Arnow Family Fund, Elyse and Joshua Arnow, Joan and Robert Arnow, The Cooper Union, The Center For Architecture, CUNY, Columbia University, Dorothy Dunn & Associates, Duggal, Inc., Halloran Philanthropies, The Highfield Foundation, Interface, Inc., Marfa Dialogues, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The New York Open Center, The Northwest Area Foundation, The Public Concern Foundation, The Salzburg Global Forum, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Pulitzer Foundation, Robert Rubin, The Surdna Foundation, Tom Shannon, The Wythe Hotel, and the members of The Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Inquiries can be directed to:

Elizabeth Thompson: [email protected]


Megan Ahearn: [email protected]