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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