Trimtab Space Camp

A trimtab is a point in a system where the minimum effort causes the maximum effect. Trimtab people and projects solve multiple challenges at once and dissolve the underlying circumstances that lead to those challenges, by taking into account a whole systems approach.

Trimtab Space Camp

Science World in Vancouver, built for Expo 86, and inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic dome.

Trimtab Space Camp: The Decade Ahead

A five-week course offering you fresh and provocative perspectives about designing a future that works for all.

A global learning journey on Resilience, Regeneration, Restoration, Reconciliation, and Rejoicing

January 12th - February 16th, 2021

A Transformative Experience

Last year, someone noticed me on Twitter holding the Prime Minister of Canada responsible for perpetuating the Canadian genocide by assuming the debts of a Texas oil pipeline and by his silence about the RCMP’s military invasion of unceded Indigenous territory to enforce the unlawful court injunction for the building of the Coastal Link Gas Pipeline. She invited me to the second Trimtab Space Camp course.

I knew of Buckminster Fuller through David Cayley, former host of CBC Ideas. He had hosted a series long ago called the Age of Ecology, featuring John Todd, one of the winners of the Fuller Challenge for the project in Appalachia to transform one and a half million acres of strip-mined lands in Appalachia into a harmonious self-sustaining community. I was inspired by the Living Building Challenge featured by the International Living Future Institute, whose blog is called Trim Tab.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
— Buckminster Fuller
Trim Tab
Trim Tab Online

I was invited to learn, to participate in a community, to get involved in a global movement of artists, designers, innovators, architects, and scientists. I had been looking for ways of building a community that are committed to reimagining our social architecture, to rethinking everything about our social, economic, and political systems that are operating as extensions of the 500-year-old project of colonization and genocide that has been ongoing around the world.

Social Architecture
Reimagining our common life together

I learned that there already is a builders collective who are exploring how we imagine, design, and build the future together.

Builders Collective
Exploring how we imagine, design, and build the future together

Through comprehensive anticipatory design science, we are engaging in the process of turning weaponry into livingry, to build a world that works for 100% of life.

Through Trimtab Space Camp and my membership in the Buckminster Fuller Institute, I have had the opportunity to participate in

A proposal for the Living Systems Art + Design Collaboratory presented by Design Science Studio at the Buckminster Fuller Institute in partnership with habRitual + The Emergent Media DesignLab at the University of California, Irvine.

Space Camp

Space Camp students have learned from visionaries, who have been inspired by Buckminster Fuller:

Trimtabs Unite! reGeneration Rising!
In January the Buckminster Fuller Institute launched an new online training programme to support and interconnect people working on whole systems design for sustainability and regeneration — what…

Trimtab Space Camp Troposphere

Trimtab Space Camp Stratosphere

Trimtab Space Camp Mesosphere

Trimtab Space Camp Thermosphere

I have been given permission to work on projects such as the builders collective, a learning community, an interface for navigating metaphysical gravity, and an immersive, interactive online event to create a place of contemplation, conversation, and gathering to reenvision the project of democracy as an Agora, of a new Bauhaus, of a way to center Indigenous voices as we reconnect to the living systems of the planet.

While the world is winding down, giving into the inevitability of entropy, deterioration, and death, there are people who have discovered that there is more to life. How did Universe come to be? Where is the energy, information, and life coming from? Bucky believed that there was something called syntropy that he sought to comprehend. Life and death, light and dark, tension and compression, entropy and syntropy are all features of Universe.

101.01 Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately.
102.00 Synergy means behavior of integral, aggregate, whole systems unpredicted by behaviors of any of their components or subassemblies of their components taken separately from the whole.
962.40 Synergetic geometry embraces all the qualities of experience, all aspects of being.
— R. Buckminster Fuller, Synergetics


A trimtab is a point in a system where the minimum effort causes the maximum effect. Trimtab people and projects solve multiple challenges at once and dissolve the underlying circumstances that lead to those challenges, by taking into account a whole systems approach.

Buckminster Fuller, 1978 (Photograph: Fred Blocher courtesy of Stanford Libraries)
Buckminster Fuller’s Brilliant Metaphor for the Greatest Key to Transformation and Growth
“What you do with yourself, just the little things you do yourself, these are the things that count.”

The Design Science Decade

In 1961, Fuller put forth a challenge to the world’s architectural students to engage in a design revolution. He called it the design science decade.

  • 2020-2021: Reconciliation and Commitment
  • 2022-2023: Restoration and Capital-transfer
  • 2024-2025: Resilience and Coming-together
  • 2026-2027: Regeneration and Celebration
  • 2028-2029: Rejoicing and the Circularity

Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science

We have moved beyond an awareness of the problems to active engagement in creating solutions through comprehensive anticipatory design science.

Trimtab Space Camp will train you to become a trimtab, using a present-day version of Fuller’s Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science.

Comprehensive: Start with the whole. Take a whole-systems perspective to explore connections within an integrated, complex world. HOW BIG CAN YOU THINK?

Anticipatory: Think ahead. Identify, research, and interpret significant trends to gain a deeper understanding of possible futures. HOW MANY POSSIBLE FUTURES CAN YOU IMAGINE?

Design: Create intentionally. Seek and apply the elegant patterns and principles guiding the evolutionary strategies of nature. HOW DOES NATURE CREATE?

Science: Discover through experience. Generate hypotheses, iterate experiments, and rigorously verify through empirical observations. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW?

Become a Member of BFI

I am honoured to have been included in a video inviting people to become members of the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Call Me Trimtab