Skip to content

75 Spectacular Quotes from Buckminster Fuller

A Tribute to R. Buckminster Fuller, 1895 – 1983

Hailed as “one of the greatest minds of our times, R. Buckminster Fuller was a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary born in Milton, Massachusetts on July 12, 1895. Dedicating his life to making the world work for all of humanity, Fuller operated as a practical philosopher who demonstrated his ideas as inventions that he called “artifacts.” Fuller did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems surrounding housing, shelter, transportation, education, energy, ecological destruction, and poverty. Throughout the course of his life Fuller held 28 patents, authored 28 books, received 47 honorary degrees. And while his most well know artifact, the geodesic dome, has been produced over 300,000 times worldwide, Fuller’s true impact on the world today can be found in his continued influence upon generations of designers, architects, scientists and artists working to create a more sustainable planet.

Here are 75 Spectacular Quotes from Buckminster Fuller:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty…….. but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Children are born true scientists. They spontaneously experiment and experience and reexperience again. They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences – “which is the mostest? which is the leastest?” They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness: they heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“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. And to dare to really love completely.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Whenever I draw a circle, I immediately want to step out of it.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Everything you’ve learned in school as “obvious” becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There’s not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I am convinced that creativity is a priority to the integrity of the universe and that life is regenerative and conformity meaningless.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I’m not a genius. I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“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.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is quite staggering”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Geniuses are just people who had good mothers.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“When I was born, humanity was 95 per cent illiterate. Since I’ve been born, the population has doubled and that total population is now 65 per cent literate. That’s a gain of 130-fold of the literacy. When humanity is primarily illiterate, it needs leaders to understand and get the information and deal with it. When we are at the point where the majority of humans them-selves are literate, able to get the information, we’re in an entirely new relationship to Universe. We are at the point where the integrity of the individual counts and not what the political leadership or the religious leadership says to do.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“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?”
― Buckminster Fuller

“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. ”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I am a passenger on the spaceship Earth.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Love is omni-inclusive, progressively exquisite, understanding and compassionately attuned to other than self.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Either war is obsolete or men are.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I just invent. Then I wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“It is essential that anyone reading this book know at the outset that the author is apolitical. I was convinced in 1927 that humanity’s most fundamental survival problems could never be solved by politics.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I would say, then, that you are faced with a future in which education is going to be number one amongst the great world industries.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Human beings were given a left foot and a right foot to make a mistake first to the left, then to the right, left again and repeat.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“A new, self-employed architect scientist is the one in all the world who may accelerate realization of a high-standard survival for all, as now completely practical within the scope of available technology.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“We as economic society are going to have to pay our whole population to go to school and pay it to stay at school.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“The self-commissioned architect is the obviously exclusive potential – for as at present used, or designed, the world’s resources are serving only forty-four per cent of humanity.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“It is new design by architects versus world revolution by political leadership.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Architects, if they are really to be comprehensive, must assume the enormous task of thinking in terms always disciplined to the scale of the total world pattern of needs, its resource flows, its recirculatory and regenerative processes.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“There is an effective strategy open to architects. Whereas doctors deal with the interior organisms of man, architects deal with the exterior organisms of man. Architects might join with one another to carry on their work in laboratories as do doctors in anticipatory medicine.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“God is a verb.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Now there is one outstandingly important fact regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is that no instruction book came with it.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Children will draw pictures with everything in them…houses and trees and people and animals…and the sun AND the moon.  Grown-up says, “That’s a nice picture, Honey, but you put the moon and the sun in the sky at the same time and that isn’t right.”  But the child is right!  The sun and moon are in the sky at the same time.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“[My vision is] To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Initiative can neither be created nor delegated. It can only spring from the self-determining individual, who decides that the wisdom of others is not always better than his own.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“My biggest hope that we’re going to make it here is that this thinking is being manifested & really employed by the young world.  Will they be going fast enough to overcome the initiatives of the bureaucracies & the fears operative in those bureaucracies?  It’s a very touch & go question.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“It is one of our most exciting discoveries that local discovery leads to a complex of further discoveries.  Corollary to this we find that we no sooner get a problem solved than we are overwhelmed with a multiplicity of additional problems in a most beautiful payoff of heretofore unknown, previously unrecognized, & as-yet unsolved problems.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“You can never learn less; you can only learn more.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“The minute you begin to do what you want to do, it’s a different kind of life.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Observation of my life to date shows that the larger the number for whom I work, the more positively effective I become. Thus, it is obvious that if I work always and only for all humanity, I will be optimally effective.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing – a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Thou mayest as well expect to grow stronger by always eating, as wiser by always reading. Too much overcharges Nature, and turns more into disease than nourishment. ‘Tis thought and digestion which make books serviceable, and give health and vigor to the mind.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Don’t fight forces; use them.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“By and large, I seem to have made more mistakes than any others of whom I know, but have learned thereby to make ever swifter acknowledgment of the errors and thereafter immediately set about to deal more effectively with the truths disclosed by the acknowledgment of erroneous assumptions.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“. . . So I vowed to keep myself alive, but only if I would never use me again for just me – each one of us is born of two, and we really belong to each other. I vowed to do my own thinking, instead of trying to accommodate everyone else’s opinion, credo’s and theories. I vowed to apply my inventory of experiences to the solving of problems that affect everyone aboard planet Earth.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Nature does have manure and she does have roots as well as blossoms, and you can’t hate the manure and blame the roots for not being blossoms.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”
― Buckminster Fuller

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.”
― Buckminster Fuller

By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Great nations are simply the operating fronts of behind-the-scenes, vastly ambitious individuals who had become so effectively powerful because of their ability to remain invisible while operating behind the national scenery.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Love is metaphysical gravity.
― Buckminster Fuller

“Man knows so much and does so little.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Search others for their virtue, and yourself for your vices.”
― Buckminster Fuller

We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Most of my advances were by mistake. You uncover what is when you get rid of what isn’t.”
― Buckminster Fuller

People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things.”
― Buckminster Fuller

What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralyzed so that by the time most people are mature they have lost their innate capabilities.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“A proverb is much matter distilled into few words.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Tension is the great integrity.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“Those who play with the devil’s toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“I look for what needs to be done. After all, that’s how the universe designs itself.”
― Buckminster Fuller

“My ideas have undergone a process of emergence by emergency. When they are needed badly enough, they are accepted.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Learn more with Books written by Buckminster Fuller:

     
 Buckminster Fuller’s Universe: An Appreciation  And It Came to Pass –
Not to Stay
 Fuller View: Buckminster Fuller’s Vision of Hope and Abundance for All
Scroll To Top

HOLD ON... BEFORE YOU LEAVE, DON'T FORGET TO CLAIM YOUR

FREE E-BOOKS!

Plus, You Will Join Thousands of Subscribers!

 

Our revolutionary health information has empowered thousands to change their health for the better.

 

And once you sign up, you'll get FREE access to all our E-books.


Website Secure.  We Will Never Spam You.