The Buckminster Fuller Institute has selected John Todd, Ph.D. as the winner of its first annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge, which honors design science solutions that seek to effect the most advantageous change with the least resources, time, and energy. Todd's winning proposal, "Comprehensive Design for a Carbon-Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia," offers a comprehensive design strategy to bring about a carbon-neutral world.
Although trialed in the Appalachian region, the strategy is credited by the awards jury as being widely applicable. Jurors wrote that it "best embodies the bold, visionary approach to large-scale societal transformation pioneered by Buckminster Fuller, [setting] forth a profound vision to heal the environmental and economic scars of the Appalachian region and a detailed strategy to build a dynamic sustainable economic basis for lasting renewal."
Todd is a prolific author on science and technology topics, as well as a research professor in the University of Vermont's School of Environment and Natural Resources. He also founded John Todd Ecological Design in Cape Cod, Mass., and is founder and president of the nonprofit research and education organization Ocean Arks International.
The distinguished panel of jurors included Janine Benyus, natural sciences writer and author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature; Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, RIBA, Hon. FAIA, chairman, Grimshaw Architects, London, and president of the Royal Academy of Arts; Hazel Henderson, author, futurist, and advocate for ecologically sustainable human development; W. Daniel Hillis, inventor, entrepreneur, author, co-chair of Applied Minds, and co-founder of Thinking Machines Corp.; Hunter Lovins, author, founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute; William A. McDonough, FAIA, principal, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, Va.; and Vandana Shiva, physicist, environmental activist, and author.
Todd will receive his award and $100,000 prize on June 23 at the Center for Architecture in New York City. Following his presentation at the conferring ceremony, he will join fellow design pioneers, including Hunter Lovins, Greg Watson, and Jay Baldwin, in a symposium moderated by Susan Szenasy, Metropolis magazine's editor in chief. Visit www.aiany.org/calendar for details.