Oxford Brookes Architecture students excel in Buckminster Fuller Institute project

1st October 2010

Oxford Brookes University students at the
Buckminster Fuller Institute study centre

In February 2010, Oxford Brookes University students from the School of Architecture in Oxford, UK visited the Buckminster Fuller Institute in New York. The group of 25 students were part of a mixed 2nd and 3rd year architectural design studio lead by Dr. Igea Troiani and Andrew Dawson.

The studio was titled 'Architecture, Ecology and Science-Fiction' and focused on the environmental agenda by speculating about future visions of the world in 2048 after a dramatic environmental change had occurred. Will Elkins from the Buckminster Fuller Institute kindly gave the students a lecture on the work of Buckminster Fuller which provided the grounding for a speculative architectural design studio project.

After their BFI visit, the students were asked to design a 'Sanctuary of Spiritual Worship' located either in Manhattan or London. It was to be a place of hope and retreat for those living amidst a fictitious ecological disaster the student had imagined. The projects set in New York were located on the Peace Pentagon site; those in London were situated under the Grosvenor Bridge.

Buckminster Fuller's environmental, ethical and technological philosophies provided a seminal foundation upon which the students' designs progressed. Samples of work by students who embraced and extended Fuller's theories of design and tensegrity have subsequently been publicised on the BFI's website. The works include 'The Thermal Baths of Icebound London' by Misha King, New York Iguana Harvesting Centre by Matt Townsend and Project Regrowth by Ben Northover.