Vol. 17 No. 12, December 2016


Vol. 17 No. 12, December 2016

Trimtab Vol. 17 No. 12

BFI Updates


Membership in the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) allows you to participate in the ongoing development of ideas inspired by one of the world’s most influential designers and futurists, R. Buckminster Fuller. When you become a member of BFI at the Dymaxion level or above, you receive a necklace modeled on the buckminsterfullerene, the elegant molecule that affirmed Buckminster Fuller’s life’s work exploring the geometry of nature.

From Weaponry to Livingry

Fuller sought to shift from weaponry to livingry by sparking what he called a 'design science revolution' to make the world work for everyone. His discoveries and inventions were meant as new models to demonstrate the potential of design science to reform the environment instead of using politics to reform people.
Click here to read more.

2016 Fuller Challenge Winner Awarded at NYC Celebration

On November 16th, BFI hosted the 2016 Fuller Challenge Conferring Ceremony at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, New York. The 2016 Fuller Challenge Winner was awarded the $100,000 grand prize. Guests also celebrated the work of the student category winner and five finalists. Click for details and photos.


The Story of a Spoon

Greenpeace has produced this remarkable video tracing the 13.8-billion-year development of a plastic spoon. This could come in handy over the holidays if you find yourself needing to explain why, from a “comprehensive design” perspective, we can do better. As Fuller wrote in his groundbreaking book Synergetics, “If we could start with universe, we would automatically avoid leaving out any strategically critical variables.”

Kenneth Snelson, May we Perpetuate Your Spirit of Radical Inquiry

We are deeply saddened to learn of Kenneth Snelson’s passing. An extraordinary artist, empiricist, theorist, and experimentalist, he was as gifted as he was humble. When Kenneth was a young student at Black Mountain College, Buckminster Fuller famously gleaned insights into the nature of "tensegrity" structures from one of his early sculptures. Learn about how his pioneering work dissolved boundaries between art, science, design, engineering, media, and invention while also maintaining a distinctively unique quality of creative inquiry and intellectual integrity.

New Time-lapses of Spaceship Earth

Google Earth Engine has released a timelapse of the entire earth from 1984 to today. Watch rivers meander, glaciers melt, cities grow, forests disappear, and solar farms enlarge. Scroll through the preselected views or search for other places and get more acquainted with the metabolic flows of our Spaceship Earth.

Upcoming Events

New Prize for Regeneration Projects

A new £200,000 prize fund has been announced by Lush, for “initiatives where energy, natural resources and materials are conserved and enriched and contribute towards equitable development. It will support communities and initiatives that work and develop in partnership with nature rather than against it.” Eleven prizes from four categories will be awarded to projects that think about the earth as a whole.

Black Mountain Call for Artists

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is seeking artists inspired by the innovative spirit of the college and would like to participate in {Re}HAPPENING on Saturday, March 25, 2017. In true Black Mountain College fashion, where Fuller taught during the summer sessions of 1948 and 1949, participants are invited to “take risks and demonstrate elements of process, spontaneity, experimentation, collaboration, and audience participation.”

From The Idea Index

GreenWave Inspires Bioneers Audience

Be sure to catch this moving keynote from this year’s Bioneers conference from Bren Smith, founder and CEO of GreenWave and winner of the 2015 BFI Challenge. Bren explains how GreenWave uses a zero-input 3D ocean farming model to create jobs, capture CO2 while protecting the commons.

From the Store

About Trimtab

Trimtab is BFI's monthly email newsletter service, bringing you BFI programming updates and news from around the world related to "humanity's option for success" and comprehensive design solutions.

To join our email list and receive our monthly updates, please follow this link to and sign up!