Fuller, Richard Buckminster


Read here pertinent facts about someone whose work is critical to a proper comprehension of scale.

Relevant Biographical Notes


Influence on Eames and McHale


Fuller was a significant influence on Eames and McHale. Eames mounted a seven-screen installation at the 1959 Moscow World's Fair, presented in a dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. McHale collaborated with Fuller on the Design Decade diagrams and documents.

Both Eames and Fuller held the Norton Poetry Chair at Harvard: Eames lectured and Fuller was professor in residence.

Concern with Scale


Fuller created many super-scale surveys with the help of McHale and others. He deliberately sought concepts that were scale invariant. To aid him towards this goal, he deprecated gravity-based thinking and its associated terminology. For example, he avoided the use of up and down, preferring in and out. He also spoke about structures and geometries that were valid "independent of size."

Over his lifetime Fuller refined his language with a goal to making it scale invariant. As part of this effort, he affixed terms with prefix/suffix pairs that suited his needs, e.g. macro/micro, ultra/infra, in/out, min/max, con/di.

Selections


Selections from Fuller's work that are relevant to scale studies.

Writing Selections


"The systematic outsideness is the macrountuned: the ultratunable. The systemic insideness is the micrountuned: the infratunable. The system is the discretely tuned-in conceptuality. (Synergetics 1033.10)"

"Universe dividers... are not linear dividers, but omnidirectional Universe dividers dividing outside from inside, out from in. A mosquito has macro-micro cosmos system perceptivity at a different level from that of the whale's. Probably each observer organism's stature constitutes its spontaneous observational level of macro-micro subdividing: bigger than me; littler than me; within me; without me. (Synergetics 1023.14)"

Macro- and Micro- in Fuller's Writings

Fuller affixed many terms with macro- and micro- in order to keep his thinking scale-invariant.

Below is a table resulting from lexical analysis of a broad sample of his books and lectures.


Table of Macro- and Micro- Lexicon
Word stem
Affixed term
Term as it appears in Fuller's writing
almost-true
micro
micro-almost-true
altitude
micro
microaltitude
astronomical
macro
macroastronomical
biological
micro
microbiological
celestial
macro
macrocelestial
center
micro
microcenter
constellation
micro, macro
macroconstellation, microconstellations
constituents
micro, macro
microconstituents, microconstituted
cosm
macro
macrocosm, microcosm, macrocosmic, microcosmic, microcosmicall, macrocosmically, macrocosmic-embracing, macro-microcosms, micro-macrocosms
cratered
micro
micro-cratered
deviation
micro
micro-deviation
diameter
micro
micro-diameter
differential
macro
macro-differential
divergence
macro
macrodivergence
domain
macro
macrodomain
dots
micro
microdots
energy
micro
microenergy
event
micro
microevent
evolution
micro
microevolution
exploration
micro
microexploration
exploring
macro
macro-exploring
exquisiteinware
micro
micro-exquisite-inware
generalization
macro, micro
macromicro-generalization
hence
macro
macro-hence
insideness
micro
microinsideness
interdistanced
macro
macro-interdistanced
involution
macro
macroinvolution
irrelevancies
macro
macroirrelevancies
limit
micro
microlimit
limits
macro
macrolimits
longevity
micro
microlongevity
macro/micro
micro, macro
macro-micro, micro-macro
medio
micro, macro
macro-medio-micro
nothingness
micro, macro
macro-micro-nothingness, macronothingness, micronothingness
nuclear
micro
micronuclear
organisms
micro
micro-organisms
outsideness
macro
macro-outsideness
phase
macro
macrophase, microphase
photographed
macro
macrophotographed, microphotographed
physicist
micro
microphysicist
physical
macro, micro
macrophysical, microphysical
ranges
micro
microranges
rate
macro
macrorate
remainder
macro, micro
macroremainder, microremainder
scale
macro
macroscale
scope
micro, macro
microscope, macroscoped, microscopic, microscopically
structure
micro
microstructure
systems
micro
microsystems
tetra
micro
microtetra
tetrahedron
micro
micro-tetra, micro-tetrahedra, macro-tetrahedron, micro-tetrahedron, macro-tetra-nothingness, micro-tetra-nothingness
-tude
micro, macro
macrotude, microtude
tudetude
Macro
Macrotude-microtude
twilight
macro
macro-twilight, micro-twilight
Universe
macro
macro-Universe, macro-micro-Universe-differentiating
untune
macro
macro-untune, micro-untune
waves
micro
microwaves
weight
micro
microweight

Image Selections


Comprehensive Thinking

Pattern of thought, phase 1. Thinking is frequency modulation--tuning out finite irrelevancies into two main classes: micro-macro, which leaves residual defined system as lucidly relevant. Surrounding the figure is white space representing the finite macro-irrelevancy, too large, too infrequent.
Fuller_Finite_Outwardness_Macrocosm_Irrelevancy_Figure_f0901_Synergetics.png

Pattern of thought, phase 2. De-finite equals finite minus outwardness and inwardness.
Fuller_Macro_Irrelevancy_Figure_f0901_Synergetics.png

Pattern of thought, phase 3: Surrounding the figure is white space representing the non-conceptual finite withoutness, nonsimulteneity, nonsynchronously tuneable. Concave means concentrate; convex means diffuse.
Fuller_Twilight_Zone_of_Almost_Relevant_Figure_f0901_Synergetics.png

Images from Phase I 1965 Doc3 Comprehensive Thinking by Fuller. World Design Science Decade / 1965 - 1975 Five Two Year Phases Of A World Retooling Design Proposed To The International Union Of Architects For Adoption By World Architectural Schools Phase I (1965) Document 3 Comprehensive Thinking World Resources Southern Lllinois Inventory University Carbondale, Illinois