You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future

Jonathon Keats

Oxford University Press, 2016

Agent: Elise Capron

A self-professed "comprehensive anticipatory design scientist," the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller's creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car to a bathroom requiring neither plumbing nor sewage. Yet in spite of his brilliant mind and life-long devotion to serving mankind, Fuller's expansive ideas were often dismissed, and have faded from public memory since his death. From transportation to climate change, urban design to education, You Belong to the Universe demonstrates that Fuller's holistic problem-solving techniques may be the only means of addressing some of the world's most pressing issues. Keats's timely book challenges each of us to become comprehensive anticipatory design scientists, providing the necessary tools for continuing Fuller's legacy of improving the world.  


"A wonderfully written and highly necessary book about one of the 20th century's most enigmatic outliers."
—Douglas Coupland, author and artist 

"Brilliantly challenging Buckminster Fuller's self-mythologizing by putting Fuller's life and ideas in their historical context, Jonathon Keats is all the more able to identify the ways of thinking that were truly original in Fuller's own time, and the concepts that can address today's environmental and technological dilemmas. Keats's sympathetic but firm critique of Fuller, and his own suggestions for the human future, make this book a must for Fuller enthusiasts and skeptics alike - in fact, for everyone aspiring to think outside the dome." 
Edward Tenner, author of Why Things Bite Back and Our Own Devices 

"Jonathon Keats audaciously tackles the grandiose Buckminster Fuller, debunking Fuller's legend while extending his inventive thinking for our present day. Sometimes it takes a real visionary to know one."
—Bruce Sterling, author of Tomorrow Now and Holy Fire 

"I loved reading Jonathon Keats's fascinating book on one of my favorite thinkers and optimists, Buckminster Fuller. Keats illuminates how Fuller's daring mind predicted the Internet, MOOCs, Netflix, and much more. Even if some of his ideas didn't work out, it's so refreshing to inhabit Fuller's insatiably curious mind that truly believed we could design ourselves into a better future."
—Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, creator of the show "The Future Starts Here" 

"R. Buckminster Fuller was born in privilege, educated by experience and his own intuition, and created his own myth. Along the way he enriched human existence with inventions such as the geodesic dome and revolutionary concepts about peace and our place in the environment. Jonathon Keats has done a superb job of distinguishing fact from legend and refocusing our attention on Fuller's thoughts and perceptions. The work of a remarkable man has yielded a remarkable book."
—Michael Hiltzik, author of Big Science 

"Keats' excellent book on Buckminster Fuller recalls a remarkable life in engineering and beyond, an underestimated and underappreciated life. Fuller's tale reminds us that the future is best predicted by those who invent it."
Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist 

"Was Buckminster Fuller a dreamer, a genius, or a deluded crackpot? In his fascinating book Jonathon Keats shows that Fuller was all three-and that his vision of a design-driven global ecosystem in which humans live harmoniously with nature is more pertinent now than ever before. More than just a biography of the man and his ideas, Keats's book is an inspiring call to action."
Laura J. Snyder, author of Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing