The Buckminster Fuller Institute has published 103 entries to this year's Buckminster Fuller Challenge in the IDEA INDEX— BFI's ever growing repository of whole systems solutions to the world's most pressing problems. Entries were submitted from all parts of the world— the US, the UK, India, China, the Sahel, the Arctic, South Africa, Rwanda, Barbados, Haiti, and Afghanistan, among others.
"IDEA INDEX 1.0 is a searchable database of incredible ideas submitted by design pioneers and social innovators from all over the world", commented Elizabeth Thompson, BFI's Executive Director. "What you'll find is a collection of practitioners meaningfully engaged in systems change, all worthy of attention and support."
The 2012 Challenge review process is underway by BFI's internal team. A distinguished jury, including Kenny Ausubel + Nina Simons, Dr. Lola Dare, John Fullerton, Saul Griffith, Alasdair Harris, Helen + Newton Harrison, Janice Perlman, and Alice Rawsthorn, will begin their deliberation process soon to select a solution that best meets the rigorous criteria. Semi-Finalists will be announced in March 2012, Finalists will be announced in May 2012, and the winner will be revealed at a ceremony in New York City on June 6, 2012.
Following are a few selected entries we found especially interesting. For the complete list of this year's published entries, click here.
The Welikia Project
by Dr. Eric W. Sanderson
"Cities want to be sustainable but by and large don’t know how. We seek to map the original, historic ecological landscape of New York City, the place where 8 million people live, and provide the best model of sustainability we can think of: ecosystems in nature." - learn more
The Living Building Challenge
by Jason F. McLennan, Eden Brukman
"Living Building Challenge defines the highest possible level of environmental performance, envisioning a built environment that is fully integrated with its ecosystem. It pushes the building industry to re-imagine business as usual, and it transforms building occupants from passive consumers into active stewards of increasingly scarce resources." - learn more
The Low Line
by James Ramsey, Dan Barasch
"The Low Line proposes using an innovative solar technology to create an underground park in an unused former trolley terminal. It will be a unique community space in an under-served NYC neighborhood with little access to green space." - learn more
Museo Aero Solar: A Community Do-It-Together Project
by MAS collective
"Initiate multiple landings of Museo Aero Solar in communities that, to date, could not support it. A landing stimulates and awakens communities while building a large container (from local and recycled materials) that is then inhabited as a form of temporary architecture and conditions permitting, takes flight as a solar balloon." - learn more
New York City (Steady) State
by Terreform Inc.
"New York City (Steady) State is an alternative plan for New York City based on a single predicate: it is possible for the city to become entirely self-sufficient within its political boundaries. Our ten areas of study include energy, building, movement, social economics, water, food, air, waste, climate, and manufacturing." - learn more
Arctic Food Network
by Mason White, Lola Sheppard
"Arctic Food Network is a series of strategically distributed shelters in Baffin Island, Nunavut (Canada). The network addresses food security, biological and wildlife species management, and provides a safe navigation system across the region. AFN is developed in partnership with the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth in Nunavut." - learn more
Earth Roofs in the Sahel
by Thomas Granier, Seri Youlou
"In the Sahel ecoregion of Africa, 70% of rural families lack decent housing. The Nubian Vault [NV] is an affordable, tested and economically self-sustaining building system shaped by three concepts: a Roof, a Skill, a Market. An opportunity exists to transform the provision of shelter across this vast region." - learn more
by Dong-Ping Wong, Archie Lee Coates IV, Jeffrey Franklin
"Like a giant strainer dropped in the river, + Pool is a floating pool for the East River that filters river water through filtration membranes integrated into the walls of the pool itself, enabling direct public interaction and appreciation of New York City’s greatest natural resource." - learn more
Chalo! Let's Go! A design initiative to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry
by Karina Michel
"Chalo is a design initiative that encourages systematic change in textile waste recycling by building an innovative business model with economic, social, and environmental implications in both large and small-scale garment production. The approach is holistic with a three-pronged strategy; business collaboration, design mentorship, and storytelling." - learn more
Wello: delivering clean water to a thirsty world
by Cynthia Koenig, Parvati Patil, Colm Fay
"Wello is a social venture with a bold mission: to deliver clean water to a thirsty world. We have developed an innovative business model that empowers individuals to use our WaterWheel, a water transport tool that alleviates the burden of water collection and aids in lifting families out of poverty." - learn more
Click here for the complete list of this year's published entries.