Comprehensive Design + Science: Visions for St. Louis and the Great Lakes Region

In 1961 R. Buckminster Fuller put forth a bold challenge: “To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” Today, the rapidly emerging convergence of art, architecture, design, and science can enable all people to achieve a quality standard of living, mitigate climate change, and regenerate the health of our planet’s ecosystems. Founded in 1983, The Buckminster Fuller Institute’s programs combine unique insight into global trends and local needs with a comprehensive systems approach to supporting transformative social and environmental interventions.

We encourage participants in our programs to conceive and apply strategies based on a synthesis of whole systems thinking, nature’s fundamental principles, and an ethically driven worldview. By facilitating trans-disciplinary practice, our work extends Fuller’s profoundly relevant legacy. In this way, we strive to catalyze the collective intelligence required to fully address the unprecedented challenges before us.

Program Description

Comprehensive Design + Science: Visions for St. Louis and the Great Lakes Region
presented by The Buckminster Fuller Institute
Thursday, July 31, 1-5pm followed immediately by a reception

Join The Buckminster Fuller Institute as we examine the challenges and opportunities facing St. Louis and the Great Lakes region as it seeks resilient solutions to the effects of climate change.

This half-day program will explore three approaches at the intersection of art, architecture, design, and science that propose anticipatory strategies for critical urban challenges. First, we will revisit Fuller’s legendary collaboration with Washington University architect James Fitzgibbon – a project proposal for East St. Louis titled Old Man River City. Next we will step back to survey the entire Great Lakes watershed in the context of population growth, development, and climate change, and present a visionary solution for its stewardship. Finally, we will discuss contemporary comprehensive design solutions that present replicable models for the rapidly growing urban centers of America’s Midwest.

The program is free and open to the public, but please register here or email Sarah Skenazy at

Special Thanks

“Comprehensive Design + Science: Visions for St. Louis and the Great Lakes Region” is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Pulitzer Arts Foundation.