Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity

A classic of utopian literature, more urgent than ever: Buckminster Fuller's provocative blueprint for the futureComposed of lectures given by Buckminster Fuller throughout the world in the 1960s, Utopia or Oblivion presents the thesis that humanity, for the first time in its history, has the opportunity to create a world where the needs of 100% of humanity are met. Fuller's grandson, in the introduction, refers to this selection as "hardcore Bucky," as these essays display Fuller's investigations into mathematics, geometry and how they intersect with the arts, music and world peace. In Fuller's words, "This is what man tends to call utopia. It's a fairly small word, but inadequate to describe the extraordinary new freedom of man in a new relationship to universe--the alternative of which is oblivion.

J. Paul Neeley

J. Paul is a London based designer and researcher with expertise in Speculative Design, Service Design, Design Research, and Strategy.

All author's posts
Gemma Jones

Interdisciplinary cultural researcher and strategist specialising in semiotics and futures thinking

All author's posts

December 17, 2020

A classic of utopian literature, more urgent than ever: Buckminster Fuller's provocative blueprint for the future

Composed of lectures given by Buckminster Fuller throughout the world in the 1960s, Utopia or Oblivion presents the thesis that humanity, for the first time in its history, has the opportunity to create a world where the needs of 100% of humanity are met. Fuller's grandson, in the introduction, refers to this selection as "hardcore Bucky," as these essays display Fuller's investigations into mathematics, geometry and how they intersect with the arts, music and world peace. In Fuller's words, "This is what man tends to call utopia. It's a fairly small word, but inadequate to describe the extraordinary new freedom of man in a new relationship to universe--the alternative of which is oblivion.

First published in 1969 and then reprinted by Lars Müller in 2008, Utopia or Oblivion also includes one of the earliest published discussions of Fuller's World Game, a revolutionary "game" that set as the goal for players, that the world "works" for 100% of humanity to nobody's disadvantage. It challenged players to overlook traditional world units such as nations, states and other political and economic divisions.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Utopia-Oblivion-Prospects-Buckminster-Fuller/dp/3037786221/ref=as_li_ss_il?crid=PDBEVCJBMBL8&keywords=utopia+oblivion&qid=1564408577&s=gateway&sprefix=utopia+or+o,aps,273&sr=8-1&linkCode=li3&tag=neeleyworld01-21&linkId=35cc3734a46f93fa9fb005e03282b20c&language=en_GB

Further Reading
Anthropocene or Capitalocene? : Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism
The Earth has reached a tipping point. Runaway climate change, the sixth great extinction of planetary life, the acidification of the oceans - all point toward an era of unprecedented turbulence in humanity's relationship within the web of life. But just what is that relationship, and how do we make sense of this extraordinary transition?
June 25, 2021
Visions from Latin America: Critically navigating uncertain futures (Part one)
Evening lecture/ 26 November 2020
December 8, 2020