Metropolis calls it “socially-responsible design’s highest award.” Many individuals at Herman Miller would most likely agree.
The 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design competition that awards $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.
It’s a big deal. And, according to former Herman Miller President and CEO Max De Pree, so was Fuller.
For example, De Pree explains in his book Leadership Jazz the influence of his friend, Buckminster Fuller, on Charles Eames: “But the key question he asked himself consistently was ‘What would Bucky say?’” He adds, “By choosing Bucky as the ultimate judge, Charles certainly set his standards high.”
Fuller (1895-1983) was an inventor, writer, architect, visionary, engineer, and environmentalist. He also was intimately connected to the rise and development of industrial design from the 1930s through the 1970s.
He designed and manufactured his famous Dymaxion (from “dynamic + maximum + tension) car in the mid-1930s. He also collaborated with George Nelson and Eames for the Moscow exhibition in 1959, designing the geodesic dome that housed the U.S. section.
So to those who are planning to submit an entry to this year’s competition, just remember: “What would Bucky say?”
Photo 2 credit: Buckminster Fuller Institute