In 1968 Stewart Brand founded the singular publication the Whole Earth Catalog, a compendium of useful resources for designing and building with the ‘whole earth’ in mind. Heavily influenced by the work of Buckminster Fuller, the catalog “developed into an extensive reference tool for designing the environment, living spaces and new media practices.” Far from being just a collection of products and prices, the Whole Earth Catalog is the only catalog to win a National Book Award for its eschewing of politics and a move towards grassroots change. “At a time when New Age hippies were deploring the intellectual world of arid abstractions, Whole Earth pushed science, intellectual endeavor and new technology as well as old.”
A group shows their literacy certificates.
Before Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was known the world over for his feats of engineering – most famously for his geodesic domes – he was, at 32, bankrupt and suicidal after the failure of his first business venture and the premature death of his young daughter. But instead of languishing, Fuller decided to embark upon “an experiment to find out what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting humanity.” That was nearly 90 years ago, and The Buckminster Fuller Challenge continues to celebrate Fuller’s pioneering spirit, enthusiasm and ingenuity with their annual $100,000 prize.