Comprehensive Design Science


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Copyright 2003 by Greg Watson

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  • Comprehensive Design Science

    1. 1. Designing A World That Works For Everyone Introduction to Comprehensive Design Science and Other Insights of R. Buckminster Fuller © 2003 Greg Watson
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Who Was Buckminster Fuller? </li></ul><ul><li>Fuller’s Worldview </li></ul><ul><li>What Was He Trying To Do? </li></ul><ul><li>What Is The Significance of His Work? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Who Was Buckminster Fuller?
    4. 4. I made up my mind as a Rule of Communication that I wouldn't care if I was not understood--so long as I was not misunderstood.
    5. 5. “Bucky” <ul><li>Architect </li></ul><ul><li>Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Inventor </li></ul><ul><li>Cartographer </li></ul><ul><li>Geometer </li></ul><ul><li>Philosopher </li></ul><ul><li>Cosmologist </li></ul><ul><li>Humanist </li></ul><ul><li>Passenger aboard Spaceship Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Guinea Pig “B” </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Geodesic Dome </li></ul><ul><li>Dymaxion Car </li></ul><ul><li>Dymaxion Rowing Shell </li></ul><ul><li>Dymaxion House </li></ul><ul><li>Dymaxion Map </li></ul><ul><li>Octet Truss </li></ul><ul><li>Synergetic Geometry </li></ul>INVENTOR
    7. 7. Patents & Honors <ul><li>Awarded 25 U.S. Patents </li></ul><ul><li>Authored 28 Books </li></ul><ul><li>Received 28 honorary degrees in art, sciences, engineering, and humanities </li></ul><ul><li>Received the U.S. Medal of Freedom in 1981 </li></ul>
    8. 8. &quot; A true renaissance man and one of the greatest minds of our times, Richard Buckminster Fuller's contribution as a geometrician, educator, and architect-designer are the benchmarks of accomplishment in their fields. Among his most notable inventions and discoveries are synergetic geometry, geodesic structures, and tensegrity structures. Mr. Fuller reminds us all that America is a place of pioneers, haven for innovation and the free expression of ideas&quot;.   Buckminster Fuller's Medal of Freedom citation, received from President Reagan in 1981 reads as follows:
    9. 9. What Was He Trying To Do? <ul><li>“ I deliberately undertook … to experiment to see what the little human being could do, if anything, on behalf of all humanity.” </li></ul><ul><li>What I am looking for in this total picture is an answer to that one great question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does humanity have a function in Universe? </li></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>Among all forms of biological life, </li></ul><ul><li>humans have one extraordinary capability, which is mind. </li></ul><ul><li>This is humanity’s contact with the eternal: </li></ul><ul><li>Our ability to locate the absolute reliability of design. </li></ul><ul><li>Human mind sees the generalized principles, </li></ul><ul><li>collects that information and discovers its significance, </li></ul><ul><li>and winds up employing it in a very big way. </li></ul>
    11. 12. Technology As Pure Principle <ul><li>General Principal </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage </li></ul><ul><li> A:B = NL:NK </li></ul><ul><li>(Eternal) </li></ul>Special Case (Application)
    12. 13. “ There is no energy crisis, food crisis or environmental crisis. There is a crisis of ignorance.” Buckminster Fuller
    13. 14. Why Is He Important? <ul><li>Synergy </li></ul><ul><li>Whole Systems Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Synergetic Geometry </li></ul><ul><li>Tensegrity </li></ul><ul><li>Design Science </li></ul><ul><li>Fuller Projection </li></ul><ul><li>Spaceship Earth </li></ul><ul><li>World Game </li></ul><ul><li>EarthScope </li></ul>
    14. 15. Synergy <ul><li>The behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy represents the integrated behaviors instead of all the differentiated behaviors of nature’s galaxy systems and galaxy of galaxies </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy alone explains the eternally integrated integrity of Universe </li></ul>
    15. 16. Principle of Synergetic Advantage <ul><li>Definition: “ The principle of synergetic advantage states that macro-to-micro does not equal micro-to-macro. Synergetic advantage is only to be effected by macro-to-micro procedure. Synergetic advantage procedures are irreversible. Micro-to-macro procedures are inherently frustrated.” </li></ul><ul><li>Buckminster Fuller. Synergetics. </li></ul>
    16. 17. Principle of Synergetic Advantage <ul><li>There is nothing in chemical compounds per se that predicts biological protoplasm. </li></ul><ul><li>There is nothing in the biological protoplasm per se that predicts camels and palm trees and the intercomplementary interexchange of the waste gases given off by them </li></ul><ul><li>There is nothing in the exchange of these gases that predicts galaxies and stars </li></ul>
    17. 18. Linear Addition + = 2 1 + 1 =
    18. 19. Synergetic Addition + = 4 1 + 1 =
    19. 20. Emergent Properties Closest packing of tetrahedra can only be accomplished with octahedra
    20. 21. Whole Systems Thinking <ul><li>Problem solving begins by first considering Whole Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis, the basis for all present day planning and policy-making, separates out parts from the whole for study </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis does not acknowledge the concept of synergy or the principle of synergetic advantage (macro-to-micro) </li></ul>
    21. 22. Whole Systems Corollaries <ul><li>The whole cannot be predicted by studying its parts in isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehension of the whole alone leads to discovery of the significant intercomplementary functions to be played by the parts </li></ul><ul><li>To learn anything you must start with the whole – with Universe </li></ul><ul><li>“ Think globally, act locally” </li></ul>
    22. 23. Lack of understanding of whole systems is the source of our crisis of ignorance
    23. 24. Spaceship Earth
    24. 25. <ul><li>You are orbiting around the Sun at 66,000 mph </li></ul><ul><li>The Sun in turn is traveling 6 Km/sec. within the Milky Way </li></ul><ul><li>Your ship is a closed system with the exception of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radiation from the Sun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gravitational effects of moon on the oceans and atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your ship’s life support systems have been seriously compromised </li></ul><ul><li>What do you do? </li></ul>You Are Aboard a Spaceship
    25. 26. Where there is no vision, The people perish Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841
    26. 27. <ul><li>If you don’t know where you’re going, </li></ul><ul><li>you might not get there. </li></ul>In Other Words… Yogi Berra
    27. 28. 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 6 7 10 11 12 Design Science Planning Process
    28. 29. Design Science Planning Process Choose Problem Situation 1 Define Problems 2 Define Preferred State 3 Describe Present State 4
    29. 30. Design Preferred System 5 Inventory Alternatives 6 Develop Evaluation Criteria 7 Develop Implementation Strategies 8 Document Process 9 Develop Artifacts 10 Communicate Plan 11 Initiate Larger Planning Process 12
    30. 31. Seeing Nature Whole <ul><li>Universe does not conform to a three-dimensional perpendicular-parallel frame of reference </li></ul><ul><li>The Universe of physical energy is always divergently expanding (radiantly) or convergently contracting (gravitationally) </li></ul><ul><li>Humans (and our inventions) are part of the natural world </li></ul>
    31. 32. Nature’s Coordinate System <ul><li>Non Linear (cause and effect may not be apparent) </li></ul><ul><li>Based on energy accounting (do more with less) </li></ul><ul><li>Does not extend to infinity (everything ends up somewhere) </li></ul><ul><li>Closes back on itself (consequences) </li></ul><ul><li>Includes feedback loops (learning) </li></ul><ul><li>60-degreeness vs. 90-degreeness </li></ul>
    32. 33. Nature’s Polyhedral Design
    33. 34. Systems “ A system is the first subdivision of Universe into a conceivable entity separating all that is nonsimultaneously and geometrically outside the system, ergo irrelevant, from all that is nonsimultaneously and geometrically inside and irrelevant to the system” Buckminster Fuller. Synergetics
    34. 35. Polyhedra <ul><li>All systems are polyhedra </li></ul><ul><li>Polyhedra represent Nature’s minimum inventory/maximum diversity structural/energy patterning options </li></ul>
    35. 36. Tetrahedron <ul><li>A tetrahedron is a triangularly faceted polyhedron of four faces. </li></ul><ul><li>It is unique as a system, for it is the minimum and simplest structural system in Universe. </li></ul><ul><li>Tetrahedra can be experimentally demonstrated to be the optimally economic, most comprehensive structurally integrated systems in Universe. </li></ul>
    36. 37. Laws of Form [A] universe comes into being when a space is severed or taken apart. The skin of a living organism cuts off an outside from an inside. So does the circumference of a circle in a plane. By tracing the way we represent such a severance, we can begin to reconstruct, with an accuracy and coverage that appear almost uncanny, the basic forms underlying linguistic, mathematical, physical, and biological science, and can begin to see how the familiar laws of our own experience follow inexorably from the original act of severance. The act is itself already remembered, even if unconsciously, as our first attempt to distinguish different things in a world where, in the first place, the boundaries can be drawn anywhere we please. G. Spencer Brown
    37. 38. Nature’s Polyhedral Design Pollen Hive
    38. 39. Volvox- freshwater colonial protozoan Geodesic Dome
    39. 40. Buckminsterfullerenes
    40. 41. Nature’s Tensegrity Design Strategy Scientific American January 1998
    41. 42. Structural Synergy + = Spheres have largest volume-to-surface ratio but are easily deformed by gravity and other forces Tetrahedra have smallest volume-to-surface ration, but are structurally rigid Geodesic Dome: Maximum space enclosure/structural integrity
    42. 43. Precession <ul><li>Precession is the effect of any moving system upon any other moving system </li></ul><ul><li>Precessional effects are always angular and always something other than 180 degrees; they are very likely to be 90 degrees or 60 degrees </li></ul>
    43. 44. <ul><li>Pollination is a precessional phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>It is an inadvertent, unconscious 90-degree “by-product” of the honey bee’s instinctual urge to collect honey </li></ul>
    44. 45. Precessional Winds
    45. 46. Applied Precession
    46. 47. Tensegrity <ul><li>Tensional Integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Structures emphasize tension and de-emphasize compression </li></ul><ul><li>A Tensegrity system is a set of discontinuous compressive components interacting with a set of continuous tensile components to define a stable volume in space </li></ul>
    47. 48. Ephemeralization <ul><li>In a finite world with limited resources… </li></ul><ul><li>… the key to sustainability… </li></ul><ul><li>… is understanding how to do MORE WITH LESS </li></ul>
    48. 49. Design Science <ul><li>Finding ways to organize our matter-energy environment to better support life… </li></ul><ul><li>… By employing generalized principles (“Laws of Nature”)… </li></ul><ul><li>… And discovering system “trimtabs” capable of transforming human life support systems in ways that… </li></ul><ul><li>… Support humans and other living beings using less material resources… </li></ul><ul><li>… Thereby creating real wealth </li></ul>Ocean Arks International’s Living Machines .
    49. 50. Dymaxion Map <ul><li>The only flat map of the entire surface of the Earth that reveals our planet as it really is - an island in one ocean without any visible distortion of the relative shapes and sizes of the land areas, and without splitting any continents. </li></ul>
    50. 51. Dy namic + max imum + tens ion = Dymaxion . Creating ever more life support using less and less resources By using the Dymaxion Map in combination with the enormous database resources and computer graphics available today, it is now highly feasible to accurately and clearly display the inventory of world resources, trends and needs in multiple dimensions
    51. 52. Copyleft © 1995 Christopher Rywalt.
    52. 53. “Call Me Trimtab” “ Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing on the edge of the rudder called a trim-tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving that little trim-tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim-tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, “Call me Trimtab.” -Excerpted from R. Buckminster Fuller tape transcript for Barry Farrell for Playboy interview, 2/1972.
    53. 54. Trimtab Principle <ul><li>Using generalized principles to determine the set of actions which can be taken to change the course of a larger system. </li></ul>
    54. 55. Synergetics “ Synergetics, the comprehensive geometry I have systematized, unlike all other systems of geometry, incorporates both the physical and the metaphysical. The metaphysical involves that which can be experienced but is independent of size and is weightless and energyless, i.e. qualitative rather than quantitative.” R. Buckminster Fuller
    55. 56. 4-Dimensional Coordinate System Vector Equilibrium x y z Cartesian Coordinates
    56. 57. Radiation and Gravity Disintegrative radiation and integrative gravity in symbiosis describe the elusive object of the quest for a “unified field.”
    57. 58. Closest Packing
    58. 59. 2 Frequency Triangle 1 2
    59. 60. 3 Frequency Triangle 1 2 3
    60. 61. Closest packed spheres in a plane 60 o
    61. 62. Twelve spheres around center sphere
    62. 63. Vector Equilibrium
    63. 64. 0-frequency 10f 2 +2 = 12
    64. 66. 2-frequency 10f 2 +2 = 42
    65. 68. 3-frequency 10f 2 +2 = 92
    66. 70. Isotropic Vector Matrix
    67. 71. Centers of Vector Equilibrium
    68. 73. Copyright 1977 Mark Diamond Jitterbug Transformations
    69. 74. Jitterbug Transformations
    70. 75. a 2 + b 2 = c 2 a b c a b c
    71. 76. b 2 a 2 c 2 + =
    72. 77. a b c
    73. 78. The Case of the“Ghost Cube” . . . . . . . . H W D
    74. 79. Parts of Whole System . . . . . . . . Vertex Face Edge
    75. 80. . . . . . .
    76. 81. Doing More With Less <ul><li>Microelectronics </li></ul><ul><li>Biomimicry </li></ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Ecology </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable Agriculture </li></ul>
    77. 82. &quot;His life was so important that it shines almost with the same intensity now that it did when he had it.&quot; --John Cage