This is Concept 7 of Fuller's Design Strategy in Utopia Or Oblivion, p.369, where he defines it as the extracorporeal organic metabolic regeneration of humanity. It consists of all the tools which cannot be produced by one person, i.e. industrial tools as opposed to craft tools.

This is not just a matter of big factories instead of village crafts. Fuller's concept of industrialization is comprehensive, and it is construed as another instance of synergy.

In Operating Manual, p.88, he writes that

"the synergetic effectiveness of a world-around integrated industrial process is inherently vastly greater than the confined synergistic effect of sovereignly operating separate systems."

Given this inclusiveness, there can be seen to be some inconsistencies in the definitions offered in different writings. In Critical Path, p.130, he uses the word "to include all interco-ordinate humanity, all its artifacts". (See also Continuous Man.)

Humanity's role in industrialization is not only that of operating the machines (indeed, automation is supposed to minimize human labour): he also writes in the Reader (p.354) of the other indispensible role of "regenerative consumer".

Other texts repeat this incorporation of humanity into industrialization, even to the extent of equating the two in Epic Poem, p.112.

Fuller did not have a capitalist conception of industrialization:

"Industrialization is not business's mass production of weaponry and munitions for political proliferation and personal profit. Industrialization's productivity is exploited by business. But industrialization's co-ordinate productivity can be employed directly by spontaneous co-operation of humanity without business-profit-motivation." (Critical Path, p.130)

However, it may be argued that his outlook here is still subject to the familiar ideological self-mystification of capitalism. For one thing, he seems to ignore what has been termed the industrialization of the mind. For another, one of the details absent from the historical sweep of the Epic Poem is the question of imperialism.



Paul Taylor 2001