What a year! BFI in 2013
With Bucky and the 50-foot Fly's Eye Dome doing a veritable tour of Europe, our better-than-ever Challenge program, the new DYMAX REDUX contest, among others, we've had an amazing year full of exciting opportunities! Read on below for highlights from the past twelve months.

¡Catapulta! In Oaxaca

BFI and Buckminster Fuller Challenge Finalists, Ellen Fish and Sanga Moses travel to Mexico to keynote at Hub Oaxaca’s 3rd annual ¡Catapulta! Social Innovation Festival.

Interface, Inc., joins BFI as Challenge sponsor

Interface, Inc., Joins BFI As Challenge Sponsor Building upon the dual legacies of breakthrough innovation and a deep commitment to the fate of Spaceship Earth, BFI launches partnership with Ray Anderson's company, Interface, Inc.

Record number of entries to Challenge

Hundreds of applicants from 44 countries answered BFI’s call for projects and strategies modeling comprehensive anticipatory design. BFI announced the semi-finalists right before convening the distinguished jury to pick the finalists.

Fly's Eye dome steals the show in Toulouse

The original 50-foot Fly's Eye dome underwent a complete restoration and was unveiled as the centerpiece of the Toulouse Contemporary Art Festival. Architect's Newspaper coverage here: “Reviving a Visionary” NYT coverage here: The Prescient Vision of a Gentle Revolutionist"

DYMAX/REDUX: Reimagining the map

To celebrate the 70th birthday of the Dymaxion Map, BFI invites artists to create a new and inspiring interpretation of the original. Wood Ocean World by Nicole Santucci named Winner. Runner Up: Anne-Gaelle Amiot's Clouds Map. The Cooper Union hosted a showing of all the semi-finalists.

Bucky at Paris Design Week

The Conran Shop presents installation of Buckminster Fuller images and artifacts. BFI Executive Director Elizabeth Thompson runs exhibition lectures and tours. More here.

Catalyst program launched

In addition to the $100,000 Grand Prize, Challenge all semi-finalists are now eligible for a host of benefits, including pro-bono law services, business incubation, project accelerator opportunities and extra funding.

Bucky at Bioneers

BFI Board Chair and 2012 Challenge Winner Jason McLennan gave keynotes at the 24th annual Bioneers Conference. BFI Executive Director Elizabeth Thompson's panel featuring biomimicry engineer Jay Harman drew deeply on Bucky's ideas, to enthusiastic reception!

Ecovative Design is 6th winner of Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Groundbreaking biomaterials company Ecovative Design selected for Challenge Grand Prize. Runner Up: Échale A Tu Casa. Beyond Benign and Public Lab for Technology and Science chosen for Honorable Mentions, with Waterbank Schools receiving special award from Interface, Inc. Read more about the awards ceremony.

Growing our staff

BFI said goodbye to two valued team members this year: Sophie Nichols and Sharifah Taqi. We wish them the best in their future endeavors in grad-school and California. We are very excited to welcome Toshiro Kida and Sarah Skenazy to the BFI family.

Fly's Eye travels to Amsterdam

Fly’s Eye dome named this year's highlight at the Amsterdam Light Festival. BFI, Dan Reiser and John Warren, who built the original domes, share in dialogue at the unveiling at Amsterdam's Central Station.
BFI Updates

Fly's Eye in Amsterdam

We are proud to report that the 50-foot Fly's Eye Dome is on track and open for viewing as the highlight of the Amsterdam Light Festival, until 19 Jan 2014. BFI, Dan Reiser, and John Warren were on hand for a dialogue at its official unveiling at Amsterdam's Central Station.

Whole Earth donated!

A huge thank you goes to Jerry Nagel from the Meadowlark Institute for his donation of the entire compendium of Whole Earth Catalogs! This is a valuable addition to our Brooklyn Study Center, and will be a resource for the BFI community for years to come.

Nominate a project

Do you know of a project that demonstrates integrated problem solving and whole-system design that would make a good fit for the Fuller Challenge? Please let us know about it!

Volunteer with BFI

Starting in January we will be inviting in a few volunteers to help us with outreach for the 2014 Challenge cycle. Interested in spending some time with our incredible team and contributing your skills? Send us an email at [email protected] and let us know about your skills and goals.

Make an Impact

Your gift to the Buckminster Fuller Institute allows us to introduce design solutions to diverse communities, enriching and transforming lives. Please consider making a contribution to our annual funding drive before the year is out.

iAct Dialogues for Sustainability

Your organization or business can co-design and sponsor a global, intergenerational webinar on a key sustainability, systems change or leadership topic with SLN, one of BFI's fiscally sponsored projects. Learn more about the "iAct Dialogues for Sustainability" webinar series here.

America's Power Plan

What will it take to make renewables the truly viable alternative to fossil fuel that they deserve to be? One big part of the solution is adequate siting and infrastructure to make sure the energy gets to the consumer. Read more in the report hosted by our friends at GENI.

Geodesic Help

Need help calculating the angles to cut for that dome project you've been working on? Thinking about a new idea using the principles of geodesic geometry? The experts at the Geodesic Help Google Group might be able to help out!

Film screening: If You Build It

BFI Program Manager Sarah Skenazy will be attending the opening of If You Build It, a new documentary chronicling a design/build high school curriculum, which is opening at the IFC Center in NYC on January 10th. See you there!


The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will be hosting the fourth biennial Design Science Symposium, in partnership with the Synergetics Collaborative (SNEC), on January 31 through February 2, 2014.

Art from the Boros II

Following overwhelming response from their first open call last year, Denise Bibro Fine Art is launching another open call to artists in all 5 NYC boroughs, with a submission deadline of January 30.