Vol. 18 No. 2, February 2017


Vol. 18 No. 2, February 2017

Trimtab Vol. 18 No. 2

BFI Updates

Enter the 2017 Fuller Challenge

There is just one month left to enter the 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge! A grand prize of $100,000 will be awarded to the winning initiative. The final deadline is Friday, March 31st at 5pm ET. Click for various resources related to the Challenge, including a link to a recording of our recent webinar.


From Fabricated to Farmed, Constructed to Grown, Isolated to Connected...

Maurice Conti, a designer and futurist from Autodesk, has given a TED talk suggesting that a new partnership among technology applications, principles of nature, and human ingenuity is shaping our world, enabling it to move from fabricated to farmed, constructed to grown, isolated to connected, extracted to aggregated, and from obedience to autonomy. By combining machine learning and design, computers, he posits, are improving our ability to imagine. Watch and learn more about why he calls this era the Augmented Age.

The Origami Revolution

NOVA released a fascinating hour-long program on the power and uses of origami. For example, the principles of ancient paper folding practice are used today for design of satellites and micro robots as well as in developing new medicines. The show explored how the rules of origami follow those in nature as in how leaves grow and how insects fly. “With this burgeoning field of origami-inspired-design, the question is: can the mathematics of origami be boiled down to one elegant algorithm—a fail-proof guidebook to make any object out of a flat surface, just by folding? And if so, what would that mean for the future of design?”

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge on Climate Change

Biomimicry is design inspired by nature’s time-tested strategies. The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is asking teams to tackle climate change using biomimetic design. “Anyone has the ability to participate in this challenge, whether you’ve been trained in biomimicry or not. All it takes is a willingness to make a difference when it comes to climate change and some patience.”

Upcoming Events

Biomimicry Immersive: Discover Nature’s Genius in California

Biomimicry 3.8 is offering a five-day immersive tour through giant redwoods, oak woodlands, and intertidal zones of California. Explore the interlinked ecosystems and learn how to bring nature’s design to your own work. “Learn how nature’s successful strategies can be applied to deliver new opportunities and solutions to challenges within your organization while immersed in the world of biomimicry.” Limited seats available; registration closes March 2!

Planet:Tech at Collision Conference

Planet:tech will be a global meeting place for technology and environment. It is a new conference at Collision, a massive 20,000-person technology conference with 13 sub-conferences in New Orleans, between the two weekends of Jazz Fest. Participants come from over 100 countries.

Hippie Modernism

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive has a new show exploring the counterculture of the ’60s and ’70s and its global impact on art and design. Several Fuller artifacts are featured including issues of the Whole Earth Catalog. This transformative period is displayed through immersive environments, printed works, films and media installations. Explore a time “when radical experiments challenged convention, overturned traditional hierarchies, and advanced new communal ways of living and working.”

From The Idea Index

Meat, Dairy, Wool and Leather Can Bring Ecosystems into Balance

The Savory Institute, a Buckminster Fuller Challenge winner, has launched a four-part series that tells the stories of 25 of their practitioners on 3 continents. Learn how meat, dairy, wool and leather can all contribute to a healthier more carbon-rich soil. Allan Savory, 2010 winner of the Fuller Challenge, says, “Ultimately, the only wealth that can sustain any community, economy, or nation is derived from the photosynthetic process - green plants growing on regenerating soil.”

From the Store

Limited Edition Portfolio available on BFI's online store

A Limited Edition print portfolio of new works was created to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Buckminster Fuller. Published by The Buckminster Fuller Institute in 2015, the portfolio includes ten giclee color prints, 20 x 16 inches each by artist Mel Chin, Fritz Haeg, Matthew Day Jackson, Helen + Newton Harrison, Maya Lin, Mary Mattingly, Pedro Reyes, Tomas Saraceno, and Stephen Talasnik.

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