Best of Friends


The NYT has lovely article on the lifelong friendship between Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi. Here’s the snippet that prompted me to post about it,

Their lives encompassed an era when both art and science witnessed
dizzying feats of innovation, their own included. Early in the century
they shared a visionary belief in globalism, though for Noguchi it was
rooted in a bitter sense of homelessness — "belonging everywhere and
nowhere," as he wrote in his autobiography — while Fuller declared
himself a citizen of "planet earth." They shared a conviction that
technology could save the world. "The acceleration of doing more with
less," Fuller predicted in 1969, would provide enough for the needs of
"all humanity within another 34 years."

Unexpectedly, I found these words touched me deeply. Perhaps because I’ve often felt like Noguchi – "belonging everywhere and nowhere" as well as like Fuller, "a citizen like planet earth." Looking at Fuller’s prediction, were we able to provide enough for the needs for all humanity by 2003? Or do we still have a ways to go before his vision is manifested?

Something to think about.

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4 Responses to Best of Friends

  1. We certainly have the technological capability to provide enough for the needs of all humanity…what we lack is the humanity to do so. Our problems are social, not technical.

  2. niti bhan says:

    Yes, plus IP protection means patents are worth money, not to mention suppressing those disruptive technologies that may make current revenue streams obsolete, all of these things go toward what you’re saying. There’s ultimate profit, and then there’s balanced profit. Much to think about here, I find myself shifting my own attitudes which I grew up holding onto and never really questioned re: business/society.

  3. JT says:

    I to, can fully understand what Mr. Naguchi is referring to. I grew up in the US, moved around to several cities before I was 9. I moved away for University, and then moved to Canada where I have lived for the last 11 years (longer than any one location in my life). Since I moved out of the US, I have travelled around the world. I am far from a global explorer, but I am not a rookie when it comes to seeing the world.
    It is a combination of all the above that I feel that I do not belong to any one place. But I feel much more “global”. I have no real sense of nationality. It is both a blessing and a curse.
    I feel this is beginning to seep into my approach to design, and business in general (let alone life).
    Very interesting, post.

  4. niti bhan says:

    Then you might enjoy reading my “Limnos” under the collections category – it’s about my navel gazing on being a global nomad and my current city being my 10th city of residence
    It seeps into my professional approach as well, as it should,

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