The Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2012


Challenge Winner:

The Living Building Challenge
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.



Each year a distinguished jury will award a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

Category Award / Open to Students / Competition Result
Type International, Award, Open, Three-Stage , Anonymous
Genre Design-Science
Country United States
RegDeadline 24 October 2011 GoogleCal iCal
24 October 2011 (via Online)
Eligibility 18 years of age or older

Winning the Buckminster Fuller Challenge will require more than a great stand-alone innovation. If for example, your solution emphasizes a new design, material, process, service, tool, technology, or any combination, it is essential that it be part of an integrated strategy dealing with key social, economic, environmental, policy and cultural issues.
The winning solution should exemplify the trimtab principle. Trimtabs are small steering devices used on ships and airplanes which demonstrate how relatively small amounts of leverage, energy, and resources strategically applied at the right time and place can produce maximum advantageous change.
Entrants must put forward a bold, visionary, tangible initiative that is focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Proposed solutions must represent a preferred state model – one that aims to optimize conditions from inception in order to create the most desirable, sustainable, future outcome. Entries should be regionally specific yet globally applicable, and backed up by a solid plan and the capability to move the solution forward.
Entries must be:
Comprehensive – applies a whole systems approach to all facets of the design and development process; aims to simultaneously address multiple goals, requirements, conditions and issues
Anticipatory – factoring in critical future trends and needs as well as projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term
Ecologically Responsible - reflecting nature's underlying principles while enhancing the Earth’s life-support systems
Feasible – relying on current know-how, technology and existing resources
Verifiable – able to withstand rigorous empirical testing
Replicable – able to scale and adapt to a broad range of conditions

Not yet announced

The winner (individual or team) will receive a $100,000 cash prize to support the on-going development and implementation of their winning solution.

Entry Fee
US $100
A discounted entry fee of $50 is available for students, academics (employees at a university or research institution), people entering on behalf of a registered non-profit, and financially contributing members of the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Descriptions(total 1,600 words) and up to 6 images

Past winners

The Buckminster Fuller Institute

Official Website