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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Buckminster Fuller Challenges Novel Designs

Buckminster Fuller Challenges Novel Designs


Buckminster Fuller (credit Wikipedia)


Buckminster Fuller was a visionary who thought big. He was an architect, systems theorist, designer, and inventor who is remembered for many things including his many-sided geodesic domes. He promoted design concepts for inexpensive shelters and transportation system as well as Buckyballs or fullerenes an odd form of carbon that has found applications from nano-materials to lubricants. Fuller helped to popularize the term Spaceship Earth to create awareness of the finite and fragile resources of the planet. His design philosophy is best summarized as, "doing more with less".


                               Geodesic dome and Buckyballs structure  (credit: Wikipedia)

Less well known is his legacy of the Buckminster Fuller Institute that supports inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs, and people working to implement environmental restoration. Fuller often said:

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Following on this mantra, the Institute ran The Fuller Challenge to help stimulate an emerging field of design based upon:

a whole systems approach to understanding and intervening in complex and interrelated crises for wide-scale social and environmental impact

The Institute developed a short presentation on the intentions and goals of the Challenge:

Once successful example is demonstrated by the organization Greenwave that was working expand and commercialize a unique concept of 3D ocean farming that helps restore depleted species while providing employment and nutritious food. Their ocean restoration initiative used the entire water-column of the environment to cultivate marine species, rebuild communities, and create jobs from sustainable ecosystems. Greenwave's ocean restoration mission, offer a way to help mitigate climate change, and create jobs is a grand effort. Their efforts were recognized by Foodtank for demonstrating an approach to sustainable seafood production.


                     3-Dimensional ocean farming (credit: Greenwave)

For 10 years, The Fuller Challenge attracted bold, visionary, and tangible projects that focused on a defined critical need. The solutions were regionally specific and offered an integrated approach to solving some complex problems. All the awarded initiatives can be reviewed here.

Buckminster Fuller's idea of a Spaceship Earth offers an array of potential practical applications if implemented. With respect to restoration, there certainly is no lack of marine, river, and terrestrial landscapes that need to be returned to health from their presently degraded condition. WHB


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