Fuller's magnum opus, Synergetics, starts out with this definition:

"Synergy means behaviour of whole systems unpredicted by the behaviour of their parts taken separately." (Synergetics 101.01)

Much could be written about this notion, which is a central idea for Fuller. Suffice it to say (for the moment) that the value he places on it concerns the emergent benefits that may arise when we take things as wholes, dealing comprehensively with what we might separate out analytically.

This is perhaps easier said than done, but Fuller's work is a shining example of what might be achieved by concentrating on the virtues of synergy, and he went so far as to provide a manual or two for us to ponder.

Material examples of synergy include alloys, geodesic domes, and industrialization. See also Total Thinking.



Paul Taylor 2001