Hailed as “one of the greatest minds of our times,” R. Buckminster Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems. For more than five decades, he developed pioneering solutions that reflected his commitment to the potential of innovative design to create technology that does “more with less” and thereby improves human lives.
One of Fuller’s lifelong interests was using technology to revolutionize construction and improve human housing. In 1927, after inventing an easily built, air-delivered, modular apartment building, he designed the Dymaxion™ House, an inexpensive, mass-produced home that could be airlifted to its location. Originally called the 4D House, it was later renamed by a department store that displayed a model of the house. The word “dymaxion” was coined by store advertisers and trademarked in Fuller’s name. Based on the words “dynamic,” “maximum,” and “ion,” it became a part of the name of many of Fuller’s subsequent inventions. The word became synonymous with his design philosophy of “doing more with less,” a phrase he later coined to reflect his growing recognition of the accelerating global trend toward the development of more efficient technology.
Livingry, in direct contrast to weaponry or “killingry,” are artifacts that support and enhance life, ideas and objects that enrich and advance human existence. The creation of livingry is the essence and enactment of Bucky’s challenge “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone” (from World Game literature), one of the clearest calls to action for social and economic justice in U.S. cultural history.
Buckminster Fuller also implored us not to attempt to change people, but to change their built environment, the artifacts with which they interact: “Don’t attempt to reform man. An adequately organized environment will permit humanity’s original, innate capabilities to become successful” (Utopia Or Oblivion).