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

Featured Courses
Further Reading
What is Speculative Design?
Speculative Design explores future possibilities and societal impacts of emerging technology and shifting cultural and social trends, diverging from traditional design to provoke new thought, debate, directions, preferences, and strategy.
February 16, 2024
Caps Lock: How Capitalism Took Hold of Graphic Design, and How to Escape from It
CAPS LOCK uses clear language and visual examples to show how graphic design and capitalism are inextricably linked. By sharing examples of radical design practices that challenge the supremacy of the market, it hopes to inspire a different kind of graphic design.
January 21, 2022