Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure

By Buckminster Fuller; W. Marks | Go to book overview

chapter 1
Influences on My Work

Many people have asked if the Bauhaus ideas and techniques have had any formative influence on my work. I must answer vigorously that they have not. Such a blunt negative leaves a large vacuum and I would like to eliminate that vacuum by filling in with a positive statement of my initial teleologic preoccupations and their resultant proclivities.

By "teleologic" I mean: the subjective-to-objective, intermittent, only-spontaneous, borderline-conscious, and within-self communicating system that distills equatable principles -- characterizing relative behavior patterns -- from out pluralities of matching experiences; and reintegrates selections from those net generalized principles into unique experimental control patterns -- physically detached from self -- as instruments, tools, or other devices admitting to increased technical advantage of man over environmental circumstance, and consciously designed to permit his modification of forward experiences in preferred ways.

My teleologic stimulation first grew out of boyhood experiences on a small island eleven miles off the mainland, in Penobscot Bay of the state of Maine. There, floatable at will, in and out of nature's tidal dry docks, with a fifteen-foot flood rise twice a day, boat-building was the parent technology, and the devices for its original design and fabrication, together with its subsequent sparring, rigging, beaching-out, wintering, cradling, rebuilding, launching, and upkeep in general were so broadly effective as to govern spontaneously almost any technical tasks to be effected on the land, whether this was building of dwellings, barns, well houses, or water-course controls (for water conserva-

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