For this assignment, I to choose to review the book ” I Seem to be a Verb” by R. Buckminster Fuller. My first impression of this book was neither overly enthusiastic or possessing feelings of detestation. My first impression of the outward appearance of this book was indifference. To me, this book seemed as though it was either a traditional literature containing a generic mundane story or it was a book of poems. However, this book defied my expectations and there was far more to this book than what meets the eye.

This book is a plain hardcover black book that is textured to the touch, it has sort of a gritty feel to it. On the front cover of the book, there is a white square containing the title “I SEEM TO BE A VERB” a design that separates the authors the last name “Fuller.” The white square also has a black boarding around it. This white square provides a contrast to the black that surrounds the book. The book is also small in size it stands 18 cm tall. Without having any context of what this book is about [and if I did not possess background knowledge about who Buckminster Fuller was] the title gives the impression that the author may have been under the influence of mind-altering drugs because the book is entitled “I Seem to be a Verb” which would be an unusual name for an ordinary literature book. However, after opening this book and flipping through the pages the idea that this is going to be a book of poems or a mundane story is eliminated once I open the book.

This book possesses a nontraditional format, compared to a standard reading book. In addition to this book being printed in black and white, it also uses green ink, and the users of green ink are considered to be more eccentric than others in some parts of society. The green ink makes the words and images on the page stand out. Also, after opening the book and flipping through the first few pages of this book the concept of this book having a right side up is eliminated. There are pages that are printed in one direction and then halfway down the page, you have to turn it upside down in order to properly read it. Without possessing any context for inverting the pages halfway through a possible explanation is that some people believe that it is beneficial to move around while being exposed to new information in order to better comprehend the information. (It was not until I did research for this book that I had found out I had been reading it wrong. After understanding how to read the book it makes a lot more sense. You read the books black and white inked half front to back and the books green and white inked half back to front) The content of this book was also interesting, a lot of the book seemed to be headlines of various articles with pictures. Although these pictures are not simple ordinary images, some of them have powerful meanings/messages that go along with it. One of the images that stood out to me the most was the image of an emaciated child laying down. The content in this varies with no real storyline to it, an article suggests that this book resembles the modern internet. (Davies)

After doing some research about this book I gained further knowledge and appreciation of this book. The title of this book comes from a quote for Buckminster Fuller himself that states: “I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of Universe.” My interpretation of Buckminster Fuller was that he was an interesting man, to say the least. Fuller Coined the term Dymaxion, which comes from him combining “dy” from dynamic, “max” from maximum, and “ion” tension and having it ultimately mean “maximum gain of advantage from minimal energy input,” which he executed in some of his house and car designs. Fuller ultimately wants to improve the world around him.

“What I am trying to do. As a conscious means of hopefully competent participation by humanity in its own evolutionary trending while employing only the unique advantages inheriting exclusively to the individual who takes and maintains the economic initiative in the face of the formidable physical capital and credit advantages of the massive. Corporations and political states I seek through comprehensively anticipatory design science and it’s reduction to physical practice to reform the environment instead of trying to reform man also intend there by to accomplish prototyped capabilities i’m doing more with less swear by in The wealth regenerating prospects of such design science augmentations will induce there spontaneous and economically successful production by world around Industrialization his managers all of which chain reaction provoking events for both permits and induce all humanity to realize full lasting economic and physical success plus enjoyment of all the earth without one individual interfering with or being advantaged at the expense of another.”

-R. Buckminster Fuller

Fuller was and still is a very influential figure in design. He had a genuine desire to help improve the world around him and this book is evident of that. “ my objective has been humanities comprehensive welfare in the universe. I could have ended up with a pair of flying slippers.” This book contains subject matter pertaining to politics, police, innovations, protest, and war, specifically referring to Nixion and the Vietnam War as well as other issues that have plagued the world. This book highlights these issues in a unique way that makes the reader pay attention to it. In the article, “Buckminster Fuller‘s I seem to be a verb: how the Internet may have looked in 1970” Richard Davis pointed out that this book was structured similarly to the structure of social media platforms such as Facebook and Tumblr, to which I have to agree to. The structure of the book is oddly reminiscent fo the formatting of social media platforms we have today. It is interesting that in the present day that people use social media to incite change and Fuller’s book with comparative formatting also stirred up emotions.

In addition to there being “no right side up” in the book is the content of the book that makes it impactful. Buckminster Fuller’s book provides a unique experience to the reader while providing a powerful message. People are not simply nouns allowing the world to impact their lives, people are verbs. they take action and they are the ones who impact the world around them.


Davies, Richard. “Buckminster Fuller’s I Seem to Be a Verb: How the Internet May Have Looked in 1970.”

Dooley, Michael. “Bucky Fuller’s Book: ‘I Seem To Be a Topsy-Turvy Design.’” Print Magazine, Print, 26 Oct. 2012.

Sieden, L. Steven. “Buckminster Fuller: A Verb Who Supported All Life on Spaceship Earth.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 Feb. 2013.