Design, Social Impact

News from BFI’s Catalyst Program

The 2015 Fuller Challenge Catalyst Program entrants have received a number of benefits and opportunities through BFI’s network in recent months.


2015 Fuller Challenge Semifinalist Warka Water was awarded the International Council of Societies for Industrial Design
(Icsid) 2015-16 World Design Impact Prize. The prize was awarded at the World Design Capital’s International Design Gala in Taipei, an event celebrating design for social change. Arturo Vittori, CEO of research and design studio Architecture and Vision, accepted the award for the Warka Water project, a structure that collects rain and harvests fog and dew from the atmosphere. It was conceived for communities in rural areas in Ethiopia with limited access to safe drinking water.


Fuller Challenge Catalyst Program entrants are automatically nominated for the Katerva Awards each year. In its fourth award cycle, Katerva received over 3,500 nominations across 10 categories: Energy, Food, Environment, Transportation, Smart Cities, Economics, Materials and Water, Behavioral Change, Gender Equality, and Human Development. Following a rigorous evaluation by four different panels populated by the world’s leading scientists and experts in sustainability, business, policy and investment a winner is selected in each of the ten categories. The prestigious Katerva Awards Council then selects a final winner from among the ten category winners.

This year, Katerva selected 2015 Fuller Challenge Winner GreenWave as a Finalist in the Environment category, Catalyst Program entrant GravityLight as the Winner of the Power & Energy category, and 2014 Fuller Challenge Winner Living Breakwaters as the Winner of the Smart Cities category!


During every Fuller Challenge cycle, BFI shares a select number of top entries with a private network of funders and donors. This year, the Autodesk Foundation selected 2015 Fuller Challenge Finalist The Nubian Vault Association as a grantee in its Impact Design program. The Nubian Vault Association (AVN) supports an affordable and sustainable housing solution, for as many people as possible: raw earth buildings, adapted to the climatic conditions and traditional craftsmanship of West Africa. Its dissemination program is articulated around three integrated concepts: a Roof + a Skill + a Market.

The Autodesk Foundation invests in impact designers who represent many fields of practice, but share one common goal: designing and creating a better world. They support impact designers as they deliver more innovative, scalable, and measurable design solutions that address the most epic challenges of our time. Click to see their other grantees.


Catalyst Program entrants also took advantage of fast-track entrance to other award and accelerator programs, pro-bono legal service, promotion to BFI’s network, and more. Click to read a list of the benefits offered through the Catalyst Program each year, and click here to read further testimonials to the benefits to entering the Fuller Challenge.