Everything I Know: 42 Hours of Buckminster Fuller’s Visionary Lectures Free Online (1975)

Think of the name Buck­min­ster Fuller, and you may think of a few odd­i­ties of mid-twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry design for liv­ing: the Dymax­ion House, the Dymax­ion Car, the geo­des­ic dome. But these arti­facts rep­re­sent only a small frag­ment of Fuller’s life and work as a self-styled “com­pre­hen­sive antic­i­pa­to­ry design sci­en­tist.” In his decades-long project of devel­op­ing and fur­ther­ing his world­view — an elab­o­rate human­i­tar­i­an frame­work involv­ing resource con­ser­va­tion, applied geom­e­try, and neol­o­gisms like “tenseg­ri­ty,” “ephemer­al­iza­tion,” and “omni-inter­ac­com­moda­tive” — the man wrote over 30 books, reg­is­tered 28 Unit­ed States patents, and kept a diary doc­u­ment­ing his every fif­teen min­utes. These achieve­ments and oth­ers have made Fuller the sub­ject of at least four doc­u­men­taries and numer­ous books, arti­cles, and papers, but now you can hear all about his thoughts, acts, expe­ri­ences, and times straight from the source in the 42-hour lec­ture series Every­thing I Know, avail­able to down­load at the Inter­net Archive. Though you’d per­haps expect it of some­one whose jour­nals stretch to 270 feet of sol­id paper, he could real­ly talk.

In Jan­u­ary 1975, Fuller sat down to deliv­er the twelve lec­tures that make up Every­thing I Know, all cap­tured on video and enhanced with the most excit­ing blue­screen tech­nol­o­gy of the day. Props and back­ground graph­ics illus­trate the many con­cepts he vis­its and revis­its, which include, accord­ing to the Buck­min­ster Fuller Insti­tute, “all of Fuller’s major inven­tions and dis­cov­er­ies,” “his own per­son­al his­to­ry in the con­text of the his­to­ry of sci­ence and indus­tri­al­iza­tion,” and no nar­row­er a range of sub­jects than “archi­tec­ture, design, phi­los­o­phy, edu­ca­tion, math­e­mat­ics, geom­e­try, car­tog­ra­phy, eco­nom­ics, his­to­ry, struc­ture, indus­try, hous­ing and engi­neer­ing.” In his time as a pas­sen­ger on what he called Space­ship Earth, Fuller real­ized that human progress need not sep­a­rate the “nat­ur­al” from the “unnat­ur­al”: “When peo­ple say some­thing is nat­ur­al,” he explains in the first lec­ture (embed­ded above as a YouTube video above), “ ‘nat­ur­al’ is the way they found it when they checked into the pic­ture.” In these 42 hours, you’ll learn all about how he arrived at this obser­va­tion — and all the inter­est­ing work that result­ed from it.

(The Buck­min­ster Fuller archive has also made tran­scripts of Every­thing I Know — “min­i­mal­ly edit­ed and max­i­mal­ly Fuller” — freely avail­able.)

Parts 1–12 on the Inter­net Archive: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Parts 1–6 on YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bet­ter Liv­ing Through Buck­min­ster Fuller’s Utopi­an Designs: Revis­it the Dymax­ion Car, House, and Map

Arthur C. Clarke Pre­dicts the Future in 1964 … And Kind of Nails It

1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

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Comments (16)
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  • hw can i get a copy of his book

  • clarence Thomas says:

    how can we reg­is­ter for these free course.Basically,i will like to know as to whether doc­u­ments would be giv­en after such course

  • Scott Ferguson says:

    Fan­tas­tic, thanks for this!

  • nico says:

    how can i reg­is­ter for these free course.

  • Murray Kasman says:

    When I was a stu­dent @ the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, Bucky spent a week w/ the senior class & designed & built a dome made of card­board. It was in the archi­tec­ture court­yard for some time. He was there super­vis­ing as it was erect­ed. He also gave a lec­ture which was fas­ci­nat­ing, but not eas­i­ly under­stand­able. He was a genius.

  • John P. Falchi says:

    To me, Bucky was a true vision­ary, far ahead of his time.

  • Numeris says:

    2.5 hours well spent. Thank you Col­in.

  • ann hackler says:

    Wow, I just stum­bled on you because I am a Buck­min­ster Fuller fan. What a fan­tas­tic site! Thanks so much.

  • Paultheotherone says:

    So much bet­ter than Arthur C Clarke as telling me about how inter­est­ing the world is…
    Charles Fort and Mr.Fuller would be the ulti­mate in din­ner guests.

  • Kathryn Blaylock says:

    Thanks OpenCulture.org for mak­ing access to these pos­si­ble. I had heard so much about Buck­min­ster’s work and hav­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty to hear direct­ly from him was a great expe­ri­ence.

  • Tim Wessels says:

    Well, it is good to see that Buck­y’s last “Every­thing I Know” lec­tures are avail­able for view­ing. I worked on the pro­duc­tion side of this 42-hour marathon of Bucky lec­tur­ing. These lec­tures by Bucky were record­ed over a peri­od of ten days in the evening at the Bell Tele­phone of Penn­syl­va­ni­a’s tele­vi­sion stu­dio in Philadel­phia before a small live office.

  • Bob Crews says:

    I think we’re both in the video. I remem­ber being behind the cam­era one evening.

    Before our time, but did you see the FBI released 44 pages (just yes­ter­day 5/20.15) of Bucky info. cir­ca 1960’s?

  • Geraldine Mitchell says:

    To echo the per­son above I just came across your web­site almost by acci­dent, I am gob­s­macked as we say in Britain. What a great resource. I think I’m set up now for the next few years. Thanky­ou so much for this gift.

  • Tomas Rahal says:

    Thank you his genius perserveres

  • Tim Wessels says:

    hi Bob, of course you were there back in 1975. Bob Kahn and I were in the con­trol room queu­ing up 35mm slides for use in the “blue screen” effect. Where are you liv­ing? I still have the chest of draw­ers you gave/sold to me while I was in Philadel­phia. Look for me on LinkedIn or vis­it http://monadcloud.com if you care to reach out.

  • Deborah Poarch says:

    These don’t seem to be down­loaded as not­ed in the arti­cle. Just streamed, not saved.

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