This 90-minute biography originally aired on the PBS series American Masters. The producers found superb archival footage that demonstrated the genius and the iconoclast in Richard Buckminster Fuller—architect, engineer, poet, inventor and philosopher, whose most memorable legacy is the popularization of the geodesic dome.and his book The interviews with many artists, cultural observers, and scholars, provide insight and light-hearted reflections on Fuller’s exceptional life.
Over 50 years ago… Long before it became a topic in the mainstream and long before the technology of today was even thought of, Fuller believed human societies would soon rely mainly on renewable sources of energy, such as solar- and wind-derived electricity. He hoped for an age of “omni-successful education and sustenance of all humanity.” Fuller referred to himself as “the property of universe” and during one radio interview he gave later in life, declared himself and his work “the property of all humanity”.
Here are Some Notable Quotes from Mr. Fuller…
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person. ”
“I’m not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except dare to think. And to dare to go with the truth.”
“I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuity. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.”
“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”
“Pollution is nothing but resources we’re not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”
“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
“Geniuses are just people who had good mothers.”
“If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… HOW WOULD I BE? WHAT WOULD I DO?”
“Mistakes are great, the more I make the smarter I get.”
― Buckminster Fuller