59 of the Best Buckminister Fuller Quotes

Richard Buckminister Fuller was born in 1895 in Milton Massachusetts. He went by the nickname “Bucky.” He was an inventor that is most commonly known for his invention of the geodesic dome, a different type of shelter that could be used to house people.

Throughout Fuller’s life, he had written many books, held 28 patents, and had received 47 honorary degrees. He was expelled from Stanford twice, once in 1914 and another time in 1915 after they allowed him to re-enroll. Bucky served in the U.S. Navy for a short while and then resigned to spend more time with his family.

Bucky didn’t think of himself as an architect or an inventor, in his opinion all of his inventions were mainly accidental. His main goal in his life was to make the world work for all of humanity, this is why he didn’t limit himself to one field of work but worked in numerous fields such as architecture, science, design, engineering, geometry and education.

Buckminister Fuller Quotes

  1. “There is no joy equal to that of being able to work for all humanity and doing what you’re doing well.” – Buckminister Fuller
  2. “You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  3. “There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.” – Buckminister Fuller
  4. “There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  5. “I look for what needs to be done. After all, that’s how the universe designs itself.” – Buckminister Fuller
  6. “I’m not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except dare to think. And to dare to go with the truth. And to dare to really love completely.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  7. “Those who play with the devil’s toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  8. “If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.” – Buckminister Fuller
  9. “Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  10. “Dare to be naive.” – Buckminister Fuller
  11. “Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.” – Buckminister Fuller
  12. “American labor will realize that its function is not to increase jobs, but to multiply the wealth and to expand the numbers benefited by the wealth at the swiftest possible rate.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  13. “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” – Richard Buckminster Fuller
  14. “Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  15. “A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.” – Buckminister Fuller
  16. “Mistakes are great. The more I make the smarter I get.” – Buckminister Fuller
  17. “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  18. “I’m not a genius. I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience.” – Buckminister Fuller
  19. “Real wealth is ideas plus energy.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  20. “Are you spontaneously enthusiastic about everyone having everything you can have?” – Buckminister Fuller
  21. “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  22. “We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  23. “If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… HOW WOULD I BE? WHAT WOULD I DO?” – Buckminister Fuller
  24. “To ask a politician to lead us is to ask the tail of a dog to lead the dog.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  25. “Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking.” – Buckminister Fuller
  26. “The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow.” – Buckminister Fuller
  27. “You can never learn less; you can only learn more.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  28. “Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is quite staggering” – Buckminster Fuller
  29. “How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  30. “I do not look upon human beings as good or bad.” – Buckminister Fuller
  31. “I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.” – Buckminister Fuller
  32. “The World has become too dangerous for anything less than Utopia.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  33. “It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a ‘higher standard of living than any have ever known.’ It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival.” – Buckminister Fuller
  34. “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  35. “There are no solids. There are no things. There are only interfering and non-interfering patterns operative in pure principle, and principles are eternal.” – Buckminister Fuller
  36. “I am a passenger on the spaceship Earth.” – R. Buckminister Fuller
  37. “Tombs are the clothes of the dead and a grave is a plain suit; while an expensive monument is one with embroidery.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  38. “When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty… but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” – Buckminister Fuller
  39. “The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  40. “Our brains deal exclusively with special-case experiences.” – Buckminister Fuller
  41. “If I ran a school, I’d give the average grade to the ones who gave me all the right answers, for being good parrots. I’d give the top grades to those who made a lot of mistakes and told me about them, and then told me what they learned from them.” – Buckminister Fuller
  42. “There is enough for everyone. People think that there isn’t enough, so they get as much as they can, so many people don’t have enough.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  43. “I just invent. Then I wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented.” – Buckminster Fuller
  44. “The most important thing about Spaceship Earth – an instruction book didn’t come with it.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  45. “Call intuition cosmic fishing. You feel a nibble, then you’ve got to hook the fish.” – Buckminister Fuller
  46. “I am not a thing, a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process, an integral function of the universe.” – Buckminister Fuller
  47. “It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  48. “To do more and more with less and less until eventually, you can do everything with nothing.” – Buckminister Fuller
  49. “A problem adequately stated is a problem well on its way to being solved.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  50. “Life is the spirit incarnate in time.” – Buckminister Fuller
  51. “Either war is obsolete or men are.” – R. Buckminister Fuller
  52. “What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralyzed so that by the time most people are mature they have lost their innate capabilities.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  53. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminister Fuller
  54. “When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  55. “You either make sense or you make money.” – Buckminister Fuller
  56. “Humans beings always do the most intelligent thing…after they’ve tried every stupid alternative and none of them have worked.” – Buckminister Fuller
  57. “Everyone has the perfect gift to give the world-and if each of us is freed up to give our unique gift, the world will be in total harmony.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  58. “Love is omni-inclusive, progressively exquisite, understanding and compassionately attuned to other than self.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  59. “Parents are usually more careful to bestow knowledge on their children rather than virtue, the art of speaking well rather than doing well; but their manners should be of the greatest concern.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
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Buckminster Fuller Video –  The Man Who Saw The Future

If you want to learn more about Buckminster, this video is excellent. It is a short recap of his life, his philosophy and has many pictures and video of many geodesic domes and other inventions. It’s very cool. And a very retro look at 1970’s style designs.

See also: Alan Turing’s Most Intriguing Quotes


Fuller was not just an inventor,  he was also known as a philosopher, architect, futurist, engineer, teacher and a poet. Of course his work inspired many people in these fields for decades, even still inspiring and motivating them to this day.

This man wanted to solve all of humanity’s global problems regarding poverty, transportation, housing, shelter and education. These quotes of his, along with his life’s work, are sure to inspire, motivate, and touch people that come across them.

Finally, we have a great set of quotes about science to inspire you if you enjoyed this post.


2 thoughts on “59 of the Best Buckminister Fuller Quotes”

  1. Peaceful Greetings!

    Thanks for the compilation of quotes. But I sure do wish Buckminster Fuller was born in 1985 (obvious typo), that way I’d have a chance to meet him 🙂


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