154+ Best R. Buckminster Fuller Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Richard Buckminster Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist. He published more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as “Spaceship Earth”, “Dymaxion” house/car, ephemeralization, synergetic, and “tensegrity”.

Fuller operated as a practical philosopher who demonstrated his ideas as inventions that he called “artifacts.” Inspirational R. Buckminster Fuller quotes will get you thinking more creatively and allow your mind to explore new ways of being.

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of inspirational Elon Musk quotes, powerful Thomas Edison quotes, and famous Terence Mckenna quotes.

Most Famous R. Buckminster Fuller Quotes

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

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

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

It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom? – R. Buckminster Fuller

If man chooses oblivion, he can go right on leaving his fate to his political leaders. If he chooses Utopia, he must initiate an enormous education program – immediately, if not sooner. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Everyone has the perfect gift to give the world-and if each of us is freed up to give our unique gift, the world will be in total harmony. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Everything you’ve learned in school asobviousbecomes 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

I’m utterly convinced that we are all here for one another and that every experience that everyone is having is relevant. It all counts. The Universe is so extraordinarily well designed that it needs all those experiences. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Don’t try to make me consistent. I am learning all the time. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The nearest each of us can come to God is by loving the truth. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time. Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time. Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time. It’s time we gave this some thought. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking. – R. Buckminster Fuller

People never leave a sinking ship until they see the lights of another ship approaching. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Television is the third parent. – R. Buckminster Fuller

It seemed that the time would come evolutionarily when humans might have acquired enough knowledge of generalized principles to permit a graduation from class-two (entropically selfish) evolution into class-one (syntropically cooperative) evolution, thereafter making all the right moves for all the right reasons. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Love is metaphysical gravity. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Search others for their virtue, and yourself for your vices. – R. Buckminster Fuller

If we do more with less, our response will be adequate to take care of everybody. – R. Buckminster Fuller

There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We should stop kidding ourselves. We should let go of things that aren’t true. It’s always better with the truth. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief…. In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. – R. Buckminster Fuller

I’m not a genius. I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The opposite of nature is impossible. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Don’t fight forces, use them. – R. 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. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

I have spent most of my life unlearning things that were proved not to be true – R. Buckminster Fuller

If humans are not required to earn a living to be provided survival needs, many are going to want very much to be productive, but not at those tasks they did not choose to do but were forced to accept in order to earn money. Instead, humans will spontaneously take upon themselves those tasks that world society really needs to have done. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment…. Humanity is in ‘final exam’ as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in Universe. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Real wealth is ideas plus energy. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The things to do are: the things that need doing: that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done – that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You can’t change anything by fighting or resisting it. You change something by making it obsolete through superior methods. – R. Buckminster Fuller

It is essential to release humanity from the false fixations of yesterday which seem now to bind it to a rationale of action leading only to extinction. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The word synergy comes from the Greek sin-ergo, meaning, to work together. It describes a mutually supportive atmosphere of trust, where each individual element works towards its own goals, and where the goals may be quite varied; nevertheless, because all elements of a synergetic system support one another, they also support the whole. – R. Buckminster Fuller

When individuals join in a cooperative venture, the power generated far exceeds what they could have accomplished acting individually. – R. Buckminster Fuller

To ask a politician to lead us is to ask the tail of a dog to lead the dog. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The dark ages still reign over all humanity, and the depth and persistence of this domination are only now becoming clear. This Dark Ages prison has no steel bars, chains, or locks. Instead, it is locked by misorientation and built of misinformation. Caught up in a plethora of conditioned reflexes and driven by the human ego, both warden and prisoner attempt meagerly to compete with God. All are intractably skeptical of what they do not understand. We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Either man is obsolete, or war is. War is the ultimate tool of politics. Political leaders look out only for their own side. Politicians are always realistically maneuvering for the next election. They are obsolete as fundamental problem-solvers. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The further art advances the closer it approaches science, said Leonardo da Vinci, painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and inventor of the wheelbarrow, and other useful instruments from the speaking tube to a mechanically gyp-proof whore-house,the further science advances the closer it approaches art. – R. Buckminster Fuller

All children are born geniuses; 9,999 out of every 10,000 are swiftly, inadvertently degeniusized by grownups. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Integrity is the courage and self-discipline to cooperate and initiate according to the Divine, which you know in your heart as Truth. – R. Buckminster Fuller

A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist. – R. Buckminster Fuller

As long as one human being is hungry, the entire human race is hungry. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You can’t change the way people think, all you can do is give them a tool, the use of which will change their thinking. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently. – R. Buckminster Fuller

It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a ‘higher standard of living than any have ever known.’ It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Mistakes are great, the more I make the smarter I get. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerati ng system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life. – R. Buckminster Fuller

If I ran a school, I’d give the average grade to the ones who gave me all the right answers, for being good parrots. I’d give the top grades to those who made a lot of mistakes and told me about them, and then told me what they learned from them. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Think of it. We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before – that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment. – R. Buckminster Fuller

There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Humans beings always do the most intelligent thing…after they’ve tried every stupid alternative and none of them have worked – R. Buckminster Fuller

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. – R. Buckminster Fuller

To do more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing. – R. Buckminster Fuller

It is one of our most exciting discoveries that local discovery leads to a complex of further discoveries. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We were deliberately designed to learn only by trial and error. We’re brought up, unfortunately, to think that nobody should make mistakes. Most children get de-geniused by the love and fear of their parents – that they might make a mistake. But all my advances were made by mistakes. You uncover what is when you get rid of what isn’t. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You can rest assured that if you devote your time and attention to the highest advantage of others, the Universe will support you, always and only in the nick of time. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

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

Parents are usually more careful to bestow knowledge on their children rather than virtue, the art of speaking well rather than doing well; but their manners should be of the greatest concern. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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 wage. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Let architects sing of aesthetics that bring Rich clients in hordes to their knees; Just give me a home, in a great circle dome Where stresses and strains are at ease. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun. – R. Buckminster Fuller

I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

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

Rashness is the faithful, but unhappy parent of misfortune. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The most important thing about Spaceship Earth – an instruction book didn’t come with it. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You can never learn less; you can only learn more. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

If you are the master be sometimes blind, if you are the servant be sometimes deaf. – R. Buckminster Fuller

God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun, proper or improper. – R. Buckminster Fuller

A proverb is much matter distilled into few words. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Gold and silver from the dead turn often into lead. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Here is God’s purpose – For God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun, proper or improper; is the articulation not the art, objective or subjective; is loving, not the abstractionlovecommanded or entreated; is knowledge dynamic, not legislative code, not proclamation law, not academic dogma, not ecclesiastic canon. Yes, God is a verb, the most active, connoting the vast harmonic reordering of the universe from unleashed chaos of energy. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Man knows so much and does so little. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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

Tombs are the clothes of the dead and a grave is a plain suit; while an expensive monument is one with embroidery. – R. Buckminster Fuller

God is a verb, not a noun proper or improper. – R. Buckminster Fuller

War is obsolete. We are not here to fight something or tear something down; We are here to be the example of what is possible. Any sane individual will tell you that violence is … not the way… – R. Buckminster Fuller

On personal integrity hangs humanity’s fate – R. Buckminster Fuller

Our brains deal exclusively with special-case experiences. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You either make sense or you make money. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The explicable requires the inexplicable. Experience requires the nonexperienceable. The obvious requires the mystical. – R. Buckminster Fuller

A pattern has an integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that it exists. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Each one of us has something to contribute. This really depends on each one doing their own thinking, but not following any kind of rule… – R. Buckminster Fuller

Man is going to be displaced altogether as a specialist by the computer. Man himself is being forced to reestablish, employ, and enjoy his innate ‘comprehensivity. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Universe is synergetic. Life is synergetic. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Thinking is a momentary dismissal of irrelevancies. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Right now I am a passenger on space vehicle Earth zooming about the Sun at 60,000 miles per hour somewhere in the solar system. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how? – R. Buckminster Fuller

Bite your tongue. Get a cinder in your eye. When you feel good, you feel nothing. – R. Buckminster Fuller

To expose a 4.2 Trillion-dollar rip off of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last one-hundred years will be a tall order of business. – R. Buckminster Fuller

For at least 2,000,000 years men have been reproducing and multiplying on a little automated spaceship called earth. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We are most probably here for local information-gathering and local-Universe problem-solving in support of the integrity of eternally regenerative Universe. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Dwell not too long upon sports: for as they refresh a man that is weary, so they weary a man that is refreshed. – R. Buckminster Fuller

On first priority in design consideration is the full realization of individual potential in order to reach the second derivative full realization for all individuals – R. Buckminster Fuller

The eternal is omniembracing and permeative; and the temporal is linear. This opens up a very high order of generalizations of generalizations. The truth could not be more omni-important, although it is often manifestly operative only as a linear identification of a special-case experience on a specialized subject. – R. Buckminster Fuller

There is no such thing as genius, some children are just less damaged than others. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We are operating at an overall mechanical efficiency of only four percent… Therefore, we find that if we increase the overall mechanical efficiency to only twelve percent we can take care of everybody. That three-fold increase in the overall efficiency can only be accomplished by redesign. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Whether humanity is to comprehensively prosper…depends entirely on the integrity of the human individuals and not on the political and economic systems. The cosmic question has been asked: are humans worthwhile to universe invention? – R. Buckminster Fuller

We will always have war until there is enough of every essential to support all lives everywhere around earth. – R. Buckminster Fuller

The pyramids, attached with age, have forgotten the names of their founders. – R. Buckminster Fuller

We speak erroneously of artificial materials, synthetics, and so forth. The basis for this erroneous terminology is the notion that Nature has made certain things which we call natural, and everything else is man-made, ergo artificial. But what one learns in chemistry is that Nature wrote all the rules of structuring; man does not invent chemical structuring rules; he only discovers the rules. All the chemist can do is find out what Nature permits, and any substances that are thus developed or discovered are inherently natural. It is very important to remember that. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

What the scientists have always found by physical experiment was an a priori orderliness of nature, or Universe always operating at an elegance level that made the discovering scientist’s working hypotheses seem crude by comparison. The discovered reality made the scientists exploratory work seem relatively disorderly. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Controlled time is our true wealth. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Consisting mostly of recirculating scrapped metals, 80% of all the metals that have ever been mined are still at work. – R. Buckminster Fuller

For man to go from less than 1% haves to 40%, living at high standard – despite decreasing resources – cannot be explained by anything other than by doing more than less. – R. 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. – R. 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 makes books serviceable, and give health and vigor to the mind. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Don’t attempt to reform man. An adequately organized environment will permit humanity’s original, innate capabilities to become successful. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Here is an educational bombshell: Take from all of today’s industrial nations all their industrial machinery and all their energy-distributing networks, and leave them all their ideologies, all their political leaders, and all their political organizations, and I can tell you that within six months, two billion people will die of starvation, having gone through great pain and deprivation along the way. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Havenotness is caused by society’s failure to design and produce the right tools and goods. Money alone is not the panacea. – R. Buckminster Fuller

You can make money or you can make sense. The two are mutually exclusive. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Ninety-nine percent of humanity does not know that we have the option tomake iteconomically on this planet and in the Universe. We do. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Specialization is in fact only a fancy form of slavery wherein the ‘expert’ is fooled into accepting a slavery by making him feel that he in turn is a socially and culturally preferred-ergo, highly secure-lifelong position. – R. Buckminster Fuller

In order for a world-around democracy to prosper, world society must learn how to prosper. – R. Buckminster Fuller

His Unique Selling Position was to make the world work for 100% of humanity. . – R. Buckminster Fuller

There is room enough indoors in New York City for the whole 1963 world’s population to enter, with room enough inside for all hands to dance the twist in average nightclub proximity. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Unity is plural and, at a minimum, is two. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Synergy is the only word in our language that means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the separately observed behaviors of any of the system’s separate parts or any subassembly of the system’s parts. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Life is the spirit incarnate in time. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Topology is the science of fundamental pattern and structural relationships of event constellations. – R. 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. – R. Buckminster Fuller

I call intuition cosmic fishing. You feel a nibble, then you’ve got to hook the fish. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Degrees of accuracy are only degrees of refinement and magnitude in no way affects the fundamental reliability, which refers, as directional or angular sense, toward centralized truths. Truth is a relationship. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Always tell only the truth, and all the truth, and do so promptly – right now. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Everything can be linked together in some fashion, in either a physical, psychological, or symbolic manner. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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