Buckminster Fuller

The Actions and Legacies of a Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist

Actions: Ingenuity

I saw that there was nothing to stop me from trying to think about our total planet Earth and thinking realistically about how to operate it on an enduringly sustainable basis as the magnificent human-passengered spaceship that it is.
R. Buckminster Fuller

Synergy at work
Synergy at work

Fuller defined his fundamental concept of synergy as "behavior of a whole system unpredicted by the behavior of its components or any sub-assembly of its components". An example is stainless steel, which is stronger than its individual elements, chromium and nickel. Fuller noted, "There is nothing in the chemistry of a toenail that predicts the existence of a human being". He believed nature was synergetic, which was part of his "Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science".



Early 4D Sketches
Early 4D Sketches

Fuller coined the term "ephemeralization" to explain his resource conservation principles. Doing more with less is a simple idea we struggle with today as we try to conserve resources.

Fuller designed in 4D: three dimensions of space and one of time. Longer-lasting, weather-resistant, and environmentally-friendly structures are more valuable.


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