Sign Up Early for SB'24 San Diego and Save! Spring Rate Ends June 23rd.

Press Release
Interface Inc. Selects Waterbank Schools for Additional Award in 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

October 30th, 2013, New York City - The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is pleased to announce that Buckminster Fuller Challenge sponsor, Interface, Inc., has chosen to recognize Waterbank Schools, headed by New York-based designers and social entrepreneurs David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, with a special award of support in this year's Challenge cycle.

October 30th, 2013, New York City - The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is pleased to announce that Buckminster Fuller Challenge sponsor, Interface, Inc., has chosen to recognize Waterbank Schools, headed by New York-based designers and social entrepreneurs David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, with a special award of support in this year's Challenge cycle. Interface, the world's largest carpet tile company whose visionary founder Ray Anderson led a transformative movement to sustainable business, will work with Waterbank Schools over a six-month period to determine how best to leverage the company's expertise in support of the groundbreaking project's growth.

BFI's partnership with Interface honors the synergies between the profoundly relevant legacies of Ray Anderson and Buckminster Fuller — "two forces of nature committed to designing a world that works."

"We are thrilled to have an additional entrant recognized and supported in this year's Challenge," said Elizabeth Thompson, BFI's Executive Director, "Our mission is to support as many whole-systems approaches as we can, and Interface has joined us as dedicated contributors in the field."

Waterbank Schools is a transformative building prototype developed by PITCHAfrica, that is a working demonstration of the remarkable leveraging power of water catchment as a socially integrated resource awareness and community engagement tool.

"The Waterbank School's simple design is an elegant and practical way of addressing sanitation, health, and education," said Dan Hendrix, chairman and CEO of Interface, Inc. "As Ray would have said, it is so right, so smart. Turning business as usual on its head is something we at Interface not only applaud, but attempt to practice. We're pleased to support Waterbank Schools by providing funding and access to experts who will help them expand Waterbank Schools throughout the developing world."

The Interface support will be awarded at a ceremony in New York at Cooper Union on November 18th at 7pm, which will also celebrate the winner of the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge $100,000 prize, Ecovative.

RSVP at and join us in the celebrating our biggest year of supporting solutions that make the world work for 100% of humanity!

About the Challenge

Established in 2007, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge aims to support the development and implementation of solutions with significant potential to solve the world's most pressing problems in the shortest possible time while enhancing the Earth's ecological integrity.

Winning the Buckminster Fuller Challenge requires more than a great stand-alone innovation. Entrants must put forward an initiative that concentrates on a well-defined need of critical importance within the planet's carrying capacity and takes a whole systems approach to addressing that problem. If for example, a solution emphasizes a new design, material, process, service, tool, technology, or any combination, it is essential that it address multiple problems without creating new ones down the road - strategies should be integrated - dealing with key social, economic, environmental, policy and cultural issues.

For more information, visit
To receive updates on the Buckminster Fuller Challenge email [email protected].

About the Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems. We aim to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.

Our programs combine unique insight into global trends and local needs with a comprehensive approach to design. We encourage participants to conceive and apply transformative strategies based on a crucial synthesis of whole systems thinking, Nature's fundamental principles, and an ethically driven worldview.

By facilitating convergence across the disciplines of art, science, design and technology, our work extends the profoundly relevant legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller. In this way, we strive to catalyze the collective intelligence required to fully address the unprecedented challenges before us.

For more information, visit
To join BFI's monthly newsletter Trimtab, sign up here.
Connect with us on Facebook

BFI contact: Sharifah Taqi
718 290 9283 | [email protected]

Interface, Inc. contact: Lisa Lilienthal
404 661 3679 | [email protected]


Related Stories