Advice to designers:

"You have to decide whether you want to make money or make sense, because the two are mutually exclusive."

Obnoxico was an imaginary money-making enterprise invented by Fuller in the 1940s as a joke among friends. The profits for the Obnoxico gold-plated diaper memento were predicted to run into millions of dollars per annum. After a few years, friends sent him Obnoxico items actually on the market, like plastic pebbles for garden paths, etc.

"Somehow or other the theoretical Obnoxico concept has now 25 years later become a burgeoning reality... As the banking system pleads for more savings-account deposits (so that they can loan your money out to others at interest plus costs) the Obnoxico industry bleeds off an ever greater percentage of all the perennial savings as they are sentimentally or jokingly spent for acrylic toilet seats with dollar bills cast in the transparent plastic material, two teddy bears hugging an alligator, etc." (Critical Path, p.226)

This may be seen as essentially typical of the general pattern of production:

"Exploited for power and profit, the destination of most of the goods made by the machine was either the rubbish heap or the battlefield. If the landlords and other monopolists enjoyed an unearned increment from the massing of population and the collective efficiency of the machine, the net result for society at large might be characterized as the unearned excrement". (Mumford, 1933, p.196)



Paul Taylor 2001