Knowing the history of design is not just some academic exercise but serves to provide inspiration for future designers. Young people need to know about great designers of the past so that they have role models to inspire them to become designers of the future.
Bucky Fuller is one of those influential designers young people may not know about unless we make them aware of his influence on the world.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) (left) was one of the great American creative thinkers of the 20th century. As a philosopher, futurist, designer, inventor, and an early advocate for alternative energy, Fuller is probably best known as the originator of the geodesic dome (right), but his theories and innovations involved fields ranging from mathematics, engineering, and environmental science to literature, architecture, and visual art.
Fuller was one of the great transdisciplinary thinkers and made no distinction between the disciplines as discrete areas of study. He devoted much of his life to connecting the sciences and the humanities because he felt this disconnection prevented a comprehensive view of the world. He believed in the significant interconnectedness of all things and concluded that certain basic structures and systems underlie everything in our world. Today his prophetic concepts are a touchstone for discussions of issues including environmental conservation, the manufacture and distribution of housing, and global organization of information.