When I first saw Jacques Fresco's futuristic designs I thought of the 1960s architecture called Doo-Wop found occasionally in real life (think Saarinen's TWA Flight Center at JFK) but more commonly in The Jetsons.
You just know something interesting and provocative is underway when new age and rap groups alike write songs of the same visionary. Primitive Soul wrote Come Tomorrow - The Ballad of Jacques Fresco, a new age musical history for this little known social reformer.
Conversely, Lost Children of Babylon's The Venus Project use Fresco's project name to title their signature rap album.
Then there are films, documentaries, books and tours - virtually all by countries outside the U.S. Except for one documentary newscast we know little about this domestic urban visionary. How is this possible when he has been designing new kinds of cities, transport systems, underwater habitats, and futuristic buildings for decades?
Fresco's signature work, The Venus Project, comprises 10 buildings on his central Florida property where he gives tours and shows his design models. Fresco portrays a similar environmental sustainability imperative found in Paulo Solari's Arcosanti.
Fresco adds a stinging critique of our monetary system and suggests we get rid of it. Considering the suffering caused from this Global Recession, it's a tantalizing thought.
Labelled neo-communist and attacked as anti-liberty (he's neither) it's as though critics can't figure how to prop up their own views in the radical face of his.
Fresco suggests we more rigorously apply the scientific method to social concerns. Sounds reasonable. The website says the most "valuable, untapped resource today is human ingenuity." No argument here.
When he calls for abandoning money and eliminating the professions it sounds like fun (though I suspect a tad challenging in real life).
Sometimes what matters most with visionaries is the canvas they paint and the view it offers of the future.