The World of Buckminster Fuller – DVD – Design Responsibility

After reading a book on Buckminster fuller I came across this video it’s a full hour,

Lean Thinking
Too many fascinating things to list, but an underlying principal of “doing more and more with less and less” for the benefit of man is fantastic, and it’s always great to change your frame of reference to zoom out a little more, for me I was relating the concepts to Lean Thinking as a vehicle of improving the quality of life for humanity, it’s the rudder at the back of the boat which can shift our overall direction.

Design Responsibility
At 1:09: 45 to 1:10 50, I really enjoyed his rant he gave to a class of architecture students, about the responsibility we have as designers. Specifically their concern with how pretty it looks, and asking them to stop concerning themselves with this and instead work on the function and in an economical way that its realizable, how pretty it looks will come out if you have solved the problem properly, like a rose is beautiful, or sunset, something we all know as experience designers. Put in the reference of “responsibility”, it makes me think of the alternative which means concerning yourself with aesthetics first is negligent.

Iterative and zooming out
My favorite part was at the end when he was talking about the dome being used for covering cities with a dome and its economic benefits, then transitioning to his next iteration of making cities obsolete by producing little black box’s that you could create your own ecosystem, offering quality of life that can be packed and carried away anywhere you want to go along with your paper dome that lasts years for shelter. The solutions come back to his big picture view of our earth as a spaceship, he is a futurist (or nutter) but we have this technology now, you can get free eBooks on creating your own bio sphere, they’re not yet compactable into a suitcase, but it is possible to be completely self sufficient.

It’s my random reference of inspiration this month but hope this prompts some new ideas by zooming out a little and changing your frame of reference, what’s the equivalent of spaceship earth in your company, group, industry, zooming out might help you find next year’s solution. By thinking lean and zooming out, is the problem you are trying to solve/improve really needing a long term plan to make obsolete?