You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future

You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future

You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future

You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future

Synopsis

A compelling call to apply Buckminster Fuller's creative problem-solving to present-day problems. A self-professed "comprehensive anticipatory design scientist," the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller's creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car to a bathroom requiring neither plumbing nor sewage. Yet in spite of his brilliant mind and life-long devotion to serving mankind, Fuller's expansive ideas were often dismissed, and have faded from public memory since his death. You Belong to the Universe documents Fuller's six-decade quest to "make the world work for one hundred percent of humanity." Critic and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats sets out to revive Fuller's unconventional practice of comprehensive anticipatory design, placing Fuller's philosophy in a modern context and dispelling much of the mythology surrounding Fuller's life. Keats argues that Fuller's life and ideas, namely doing "the most with the least," are now more relevant than ever as humanity struggles to meet the demands of an exploding world population with finite resources. Delving deeply into Buckminster Fuller's colorful world, Keats applies Fuller's most important concepts to present-day issues, arguing that his ideas are now not only feasible, but necessary. From transportation to climate change, urban design to education, You Belong to the Universe demonstrates that Fuller's holistic problem-solving techniques may be the only means of addressing some of the world's most pressing issues. Keats's timely book challenges each of us to become comprehensive anticipatory design scientists, providing the necessary tools for continuing Fuller's legacy of improving the world.

Excerpt

The future of transportation did not proceed according to plan. Touted as the greatest advance since the horse and buggy when it rolled out of the factory in 1933, the first car that Buckminster Fuller built burned up in a fire a decade later. A second one was shredded for scrap metal during the Korean War. As for the third of Fuller’s three prototype Dymaxion vehicles, there were rumors that a Wichita Cadillac dealer acquired it in the 1950s and warehoused it as an investment. The rumors were wrong. In 1968, some Arizona State University engineering students found it parked on a local farm. Repurposed as a makeshift poultry coop, the last vestige of Fuller’s futuristic transport was slowly succumbing to the corrosive effects of rain and chicken poop.

The farm belonged to a man named Theodore Mezes, who had bought the three-wheeled car for a dollar some decades earlier. The students gave him $3,000 and hauled it home, but they couldn’t make it run. So they resold it to Bill Harrah, a casino mogul with a museum full of Duesenbergs and Pierce-Arrows. He had the aluminum shell refurbished and the windows painted over so that people couldn’t see . . .

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