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Vol. 11 No. 4

Join us in Washington DC this June for a Design Science Convergence!

The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites you to “Architecting the Future:”

• Awarding of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge $100,000 prize in a conferring ceremony at The National Press Club, June 2.
• “Architecting The Future: A World Design Science Decade 2010-2020,” at American University’s School of International Service, June 2 & 3.
• Opening night of the acclaimed one-man show, R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE, at Arena Stage, June 3.

See the complete schedule here

Register here (Early registration discount available through May 2nd!)

Featured Post from The Challenge Fellows Blog: One for 100%

Aclima, Inc.- Creating Collective Eco-Intelligence
By Ashley Thorfinnson

Using it’s patent-pending air monitors to create ecological transparency, BFI Challenge Semi-Finalist Aclima, Inc. is educating children and adults alike in how our individual actions can affect and transform the world we live in. By bringing air quality statistics to life through social networking interfaces like facebook and twitter, they are connecting data, ideas and people. The creation of online “neighborhoods” makes it is easy for people to see how individual remedies can scale up to have a global impact. Through the creation of online connections and correlations across the globe, Aclima will encourage systems thinking and reinforce the interrelatedness of every person and place on spaceship earth. (Continue reading here.)

Read all of the recent postings about the 2010 semi-finalists on the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Fellowship Blog, One for 100%

New BFI.ORG Coming Soon!

Trends & Perspectives

Domes For Haiti

Domes for Haiti is an all volunteer grass roots organization dedicated to providing immediate aid to families in need of shelter as a result of the January 12th earthquake. We are composed of a group of artists from Brooklyn, NYC who are pooling our resources and skills to create emergency shelters for the people in Haiti most affected by the earthquake. We are fabricating portable geodesic domes made out of recycled and donated materials from NYC’s entertainment & construction industries. The geodesic domes are 17’ in diameter, 9’ tall in the center and are large enough to house a family of five. We are an all volunteer organization. We have no affiliations with political parties or religious organizations. We are working in solidarity with the Haitian people to redirect valuable resources that are otherwise headed into the American waste stream towards creating semi permanent shelters to people at little or no cost.

Visit the blog to get involved and find out more!

Rain Collector Skyscraper

Polish architectural students Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak of H3AR received a special mention for their proposal in the 2010 skyscraper competition. ’Capture the rain’ skyscraper is a building whose roof and external shell, which consists systems of gutters, are aimed at capturing as much rainfall as possible to meet the daily needs of its inhabitants. Average daily consumption of water per person is 150 liters, out of which 85 liters may be replaced by rain water. Within the last thirty years water consumption has significantly increased. There are lots of factors that contribute to such an increase such as increasing number washing machines and dish washers, increasing popularity of garden showering devices and flushing toilets. A third of water being used in households in western countries is flushed in toilets. Since 1900 the total water consumption in the US has increased by 1000%. at present, an average american uses five times more water that a citizen of developing countries. Such an increase is related to among others improved living standards. On the other hand, a national hobby of the danes is collecting rain water for washing and watering plants. Within the last ten years average use of pure water in denmark dropped by 40% and inhabitants of the so called eco-villages use a third part of the national average.

Via deisgnboom.com

The Benefits of Building a Smart Energy Grid

A smart energy grid—which can measure usage and help efficiently manage power grids—could reduce power costs and benefit the environment as well, since a more efficient grid would require less energy from power plants. To see this in action, look at the findings of a recent Department of Energy study that examined the hypothetical costs and savings of installing all the components of a smart grid in the state of West Virginia starting this year.

Continue on good.is


Under the Dome

One of the paradoxes of punk is that a movement based on nihilism led to such a wealth of creativity. This dichotomy is at the heart of Peter Bognanni’s first novel, “The House of Tomorrow,” which unexpectedly pits the teaching of R. Buckminster Fuller, architect, philosopher and futurist, against the misanthropy of punk. There is only going to be one winner, but it is a measure of Bognanni’s empathy that his narrator’s decision is never an easy one.

This promising premise begins on promising premises, under the great pellucid roof of the first geodesic dome constructed in Iowa. That is where Sebastian Prendergast, a 16-year-old orphan, lives with his quirky grandmother Nana, who considers Fuller (with whom she studied and may have had an affair) “the most unappreciated genius in all of human history.” Nana conducts guided tours to this “moderate-to-­marginal tourist attraction” and encourages Sebastian, whom she has home-schooled, to believe he is being groomed to lead a Fullerian social revolution.

Review via NYTimes

2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalist Eben Bayer on PopTech

2009 PopTech Fellow Eben Bayer is co-founder of Ecovative Design, an initiative that transforms low-value agricultural byproducts into strong biological composites that can be used as biodegradable alternatives to conventional plastics, foams, and packaging materials.

Watch the presentation on PopTech
View the 2009 Challenge Entry in the IdeaIndex

Nature by Numbers


Presentation of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists at Exit Art!

Executive Director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Elizabeth Thompson, will be sharing and discussing the semi-finalists of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge at Exit Art, in New York on Wednesday, April 21st at 8pm. More details about the event can be found here.

New Exhibition of Omni-Oculi Sculptor Tom Shannon

Francis M. Naumann Fine Art Gallery
24 W 57th Street, NY NY

From Wired:
Tom Shannon’s paintings bustle with life — neon polymers suggest rampant vines, moist lips, and teeming coral reefs. But the multimedia artist generates these complex forms with a simple machine, a pendulum of his own design that swings over the canvas, releasing pigment from six radio-controlled paint guns. “The process is full of surprises,” the 62-year-old artist says. “The pendulum lets me step outside to observe nature as it produces layer after layer of detail.”

Film Screening: A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome

6:00 - 8:00 pm Friday, April 30
The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Street, NY NY

Upon its completion in October 1958, the Union Tank Car Dome, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the largest clear-span structure in the world. Based on the engineering principles of the visionary design scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller, this geodesic dome was, at 384 feet in diameter, the first large scale example of this building type. “A Necessary Ruin” relates the powerful, compelling narrative of the dome’s history via interviews with architects, engineers, preservationists, media, and artists; animated sequences demonstrating the operation of the facility; and hundreds of rare photographs and video segments taken during the dome’s construction, decline, and demolition.

Discussion led by filmmaker Evan Mather and BFI Board Member Jonathan Marvel.

RSVP here.
Watch the trailer here.
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