Fuller on Design Science
What are the resources? What are the tasks necessary to make 100% of humanity a success? How can we ever do so without ever advantaging one human at the expense of another? How may we render all the world and all its treasures enjoyable available to all men without having one interfering with or trespassing upon the other? How may we reform the environment so that the integrity of all society is not violated by the free initiatives of the individual nor the integrity of the individual violated by the developing welfaring advantage and happiness of the many?
Man is born a potentially complete success. The reasons humanity loves its children is that they start off in such perfection of potential.
Man, as designed, is obviously intended to be a success just as the hydrogen atom is intended to e a success. It is only the fabulous ignorance of man and his long and wrongly conditioned reflexes that he continually allowed the new life to be impaired albeit lovingly and unwittingly.
—Speech at NASA, June 1966
Playboy: What was different about your technique that made you call it Design Science?
Fuller: The whole thing was finding our what was first-things-first in Universe, and to do that you have toget away from any ideas of specialization. You’ve got to develop your comprehensive literacy and find out what your problem is. It lakes a long time to get to know anything that way, but once you do, you know it so clearly and cleanly that anybody who’ll really sit down and work it out absolutely can’t go wrong with it.
—Transcript of Barry Farrel, PLAYBOY interview, February 1972
I find that I have to use the words “Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science.” Science sets in order the facts of experience. Design as against that which is happening to you: it is that which you do deliberately. Using principles, then, employing order, we try to anticipate the needs of humanity, anticipate the needs of nature in general, try to anticipate the accommodation ofthe total intercomplementarity, using those principles then to actually begin to participate in the evolutionary formulations ofnature, so we don’t just have to wait and take it for granted that someone else is going to provide this thing for us, and leave it up to them. Each one of us then, has an increasingintuition and an obligation to employ these principles in an effective manner on behalf of all humanity, and on behalf of the Total Integrity of Universe Itself – in its eternal regeneration.
—From “Everything I Know: 42 Hours with Buckminster Fuller”
In COMPREHENSIVE ANTICIPATORY DESIGN SCIENCE YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING… On the land, you have a job, and you work eight hours and you call it a day. You can close all the shutters on the cottage and say that’s the end of it. At sea you can’t shut down. It’s a twenty-four hour job; you have twice as much experience at sea, because you have twenty-four hours out of everyday of experience… So the experience piled up very rapidly, and the severity of the untoward events–very high frequency–meant those people who did come back were very aware that there were very many who didn’t come back, and they went into anticipation. This is our friend ”Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science,”-what are all the things you are going to have to anticipate?
… aware of so many other human beings, amid the planet being so big, and the complexity of things already operative when you check into the picture [it] doesn’t seem a very good prospect to the individual that he’s going to be very effective in this great big platter. He might expect to be fairly effective in a local pattern with a few people.
But what do you do, what can the little individual do about humans on board our planet in a big way. It seems for the moment a formidable challenge. So I will talk more about that with you, because I am confident that the little individual can do a great deal, and everyone of the human individuals are going to do a great deal, and if you catch on timethe strategies I employ, you may be able to employ them too. You may want to.
. . . Until the mid-twentieth century all political ideologies have been, and most as yet are, predicted upon yesterday’s seemingly “obvious and incontrovertible” assumption of the existence of a fundamental and eternal inadequacy of healthful, wealthful terrestrial human life support. It has to be ‘yours’ or ‘mine’ because there is not and never will be enough for both.” The respective political, ideological biases result from each assuming that its side has the most just and wise socio-economic strategy for coping with fundamental economic inadequacies.
If they are not to perish, but on the contrary are to survive, flourish and prevail, despite lethal inadequacy of life support, all political systems also have assumed and prepare for ultimate validation of their respectively claimed unique superiorities only through armed victory in all–out war. Though many are now aware that science and technology may someday disprove the inadequacy assumption, to everyday politics, fundamental inadequacy means that, large blocks of humanity are going to die anyway–either by starvation, disease or weapons. Politics must be intransigent and stoical about death because it assumes ultimate, unavoidable mass dying, either active or passive. This necessity has introduced the political concept of “ends justifying means” no matter how atrocious those means.
I am inherently transcendental to all political bias because I have learned by experimentally demonstrable, scientific, technical and economic facts of Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science that the inventory of chemical elements is not decreasing while know-how is forever increasing, which results in an ever accelerating rate of increase of technical effectiveness per each ounce of material, quantum of energy and second of time invested per each human and per each function to be served. Today the majority of all the worlds metal which were once all in mines are now recirculating. Each time they are melted and reused they carry vastly increased performance capability. It is now safely statable that our present knowledge and physical resources are adequate to the support of all humanity and all humans to come at a higher standard of living and enjoyment of life than have ever been experienced by any human.
To the best of my knowledge I was the first to discover and to be able to demonstrate why and how this is true. It is therefore also manifest to me that all political ideologies are obsolete–lethally obsolete. Knowing this I am also inherently incorruptible by either political or economic persuasions. I am committed to Comprehensively Anticipatory Design Science and its peacetime employment, for peace producing and sustaining purposes, of all the world’s untapped or recirculating physical resources as well as of all the premium scientific, technical, industrial and managerial production skills–in such a manner as has heretofore been comprehensively employed to integrate humanity’s potentials only under aegis of immediate or imminently anticipated all-out war. Design Science is the positive extension of passive resistance. Passive resistance bloodlessly dissipates the undesirable. Design Science bloodlessly gains the desirable.
I am pitting a world around, blood less, constructive, design transformation revolution against a world around destructive bloody revolution. The Design Science revolution can be won by all. The bloody revolution can be won by none.
Because political economies assume inherent scarcity, it also assumes it to be an inexorable corollary that humans are designed to be failures and that the right to be considered an exception by society and therefore, to be allowed to live successfully must be competitively earned–“a living” oust be earned. Design Science contradicts political economics and states it to be scientifically manifest that humanity is designed to be comprehensively successful in order to be able to fulfill its functioning in the cosmically designed Universe… humanity is designed to be successful…
Design Science is concerned not only with the prominent end products but also with all the means of producing, installing, servicing, removing and replacing comprehensive undertakings. This includes both user and personal safety, logistics in general and public relations.
—From a Letter to Karan Singh, Former Indian Ambassador to the United States