Jacque Fresco

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Jacque Fresco
Born(1916-03-13)March 13, 1916
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 18, 2017(2017-05-18) (aged 101)
Occupation(s)Futurist,[1] social engineer,[2] structural engineer, architectural designer, industrial designer, author, lecturer
Known forThe Venus Project, resource-based economy ideas.
Notable workLooking Forward[3] (1969), The Best That Money Can't Buy[4] (2002)

Jacque Fresco (March 13, 1916 – May 18, 2017) was an American futurist[1] and self-described social engineer.[2] Self-taught, he worked in a variety of positions related to industrial design.

Fresco wrote and lectured his views on sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural-resource management, cybernetic technology, automation, and the role of science in society. He directed the Venus Project[5] and advocated global implementation of a socioeconomic system which he referred to as a "resource-based economy".[6][7]

Early life

Jacque Fresco was born on March 13, 1916,[8] and grew up in a Sephardi Jewish household,[9] at the family's home in Bensonhurst, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.[10] Fresco's father was an agriculturist born in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), while his mother Lena was an emigrant from Jerusalem.[11] He later turned his attention to technocracy.[12] A teenager during the Great Depression, he spent time with friends discussing Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, science, and the future.[12] Fresco attended the Young Communist League before being "physically ejected" for loudly stating that "Karl Marx was wrong!" after a discussion with the league president during a meeting.[13] He left home at the age of 14, hitchhiking and "jumping" trains as one of the so-called "Wild Boys of the Road".[11]


Aircraft industry

Fresco worked at Douglas Aircraft Company in California during the late 1930s.[13][14] He presented designs including a flying wing[15] and a disk-shaped aircraft. Some of his designs were considered impractical at the time and Fresco's design ideas were not adopted.[16] Fresco resigned from Douglas because of design disagreements.[13][16]

In 1942, Fresco was drafted into the U.S. Army.[12][17] He was assigned technical design duties for the Army Air Forces at Wright Field design laboratories in Dayton, Ohio.[12][16][18][19] One design he produced was a "radical variable camber wing" with which he attempted to optimize flight control by allowing the pilot to adjust the thickness and lift of the wings during flight.[20][21] Fresco did not adjust to military life and was discharged.[12]

Trend Home

Fresco was commissioned by Earl "Madman" Muntz, to design low cost housing. Muntz invested $500,000 seed money in the project. Fresco, 32 years old at the time, along with his associates Harry Giaretto and Eli Catran conceived, designed and engineered a project house called the Trend Home.[22] Fresco came closest to traditional career success with this project. Built mostly of aluminum and glass, it was on prominent display at Stage 8 of the Warner Bros. Sunset Lot in Hollywood for three months. The home could be toured for one dollar, with proceeds going to the Cancer Prevention Society. In the summer of 1948, a Federal Housing Administration official met Muntz about the project. The official's proposal, according to Muntz, would add a bureaucratic overhead negating the low production costs. Without federal or further private funding the project did not go into mass production. This experience led Fresco to the conclusion that society would have to change for his inventions to reach their potential.[10][23]

Scientific Research Laboratories

In the late 1940s, Fresco created and was director of Scientific Research Laboratories in Los Angeles.[19][24] Here he also gave lectures, and taught technical design,[13] meanwhile researching and working on inventions as a freelance inventor and scientific consultant.[25] During this period, Fresco struggled to get his research funded[26] and faced setbacks and financial difficulties. In 1955, Fresco left California after his laboratory was removed to build the Golden State Freeway.[13][14]


In 1955 Fresco moved to Miami, Florida. He opened a business as a psychological consultant, but had no formal schooling in the subject.[14] Receiving a "barrage of criticism" from the American Psychological Association Fresco stopped that business.[14] In a newspaper article from that time period Fresco claimed to have a degree from Sierra University, Los Angeles, California, which is unverified.[27]

Fresco described white supremacist organizations he joined to test the feasibility of changing people. He tells of joining a local Ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Council in an attempt to change their views about racial discrimination.[28]

In Miami Fresco presented designs of a circular city.[29] Fresco made his living working as an industrial designer for various companies such as Alcoa and the Major Realty Corporation.[14]

In 1961, with Pietro Belluschi and C. Frederick Wise,[30] Fresco collaborated on a project known as the Sandwich House.[14] Consisting of mostly prefabricated components, partitions, and aluminum, the project sold houses for $2,950, or $7,500 with foundation and all internal installations.[30] During this period, Fresco supported his projects by designing prefabricated aluminum devices through Jacque Fresco Enterprises Inc.[31]

From 1955 to 1969 Fresco named his social ideas "Project Americana".

Looking Forward

Looking Forward was published in 1969. Author Ken Keyes Jr., and Jacque Fresco coauthored the book. Looking Forward is a speculative look at the future. The authors picture an ideal 'cybernetic society in which want has been banished and work and personal possessions no longer exist; individual gratification is the total concern'.[32]

Sociocyberneering, Inc.

Fresco formed "Sociocyberneering", a membership organization claiming 250 members, according to an interview with Fresco.[33] He hosted lectures in Miami Beach and Coral Gables.[34][35] Fresco promoted his organization by lecturing at universities[36] and appearing on radio and television.[37][38] Although Fresco is presented as a 'Doctor' on the Larry King show there is no evidence of that being the case. Fresco did not complete high school.[39] Fresco's "sociocyberneering" as a membership group was discontinued and land was purchased at another location in rural Venus, Florida. He established his home and research center there.[40]

The Venus Project and later career

Fresco, with his partner Roxanne Meadows, founded The Venus Project in 1985 and supported it in the 1990s through freelance inventing, industrial engineering, conventional architectural modeling, and invention consultations.[10]

In 2008, Peter Joseph featured Fresco in the film Zeitgeist Addendum where his ideas of the future were given as possible alternatives. Peter Joseph, founder of the Zeitgeist Movement began advocating Fresco's approach. In April 2012, the two groups disassociated due to disagreements regarding goals and objectives.[10]

Throughout 2010, Fresco traveled with Meadows worldwide to promote interest in the Venus Project.[41][42] In June 2012, Maja Borg screened her film, Future My Love, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival featuring the work of Fresco and Roxanne Meadows.[43][44]

Personal life and family

Fresco was born to immigrants from the Middle East, Isaac and Lena Fresco.[8] His father was born in 1880[45] and around 1905 immigrated from Istanbul to New York where he worked as a horticulturist.[8] He died in 1963.[45] Fresco's mother was born in 1887[46] in Jerusalem and also migrated to New York around 1904.[8] She died in 1988.[46] Fresco was brother to two siblings,[8] a sister, Freda, and a brother, David.

Fresco had two marriages when he lived in Los Angeles and carried his second marriage through his first couple of years in Miami.[19] He divorced his second wife in 1957 and remained unmarried thereafter.[47] His second wife, Patricia, gave birth to a son, Richard, in 1953 and a daughter, Bambi, in 1956. Richard was an army private[48] and died in 1976.[49] Bambi died of cancer in 2010.[50]

Fresco died on May 18, 2017, in his sleep at his home in Sebring, Florida, from complications of Parkinson's disease at the age of 101.[51][52]

Roxanne Meadows assisted Fresco from 1976. As Fresco's domestic partner and administrative colleague, she oversees much of the management of the Venus Project.[10]

Critical appraisals

It's a "lack of professional engagement", William Gazecki who in 2006 completed Future by Design, a feature-length profile of Jacque Fresco says, that hurt Fresco the most. "The real missing link in Jacque's world is having put Jacque to work," Gazecki says, "[It's] exemplified when people say: 'Well, show me some buildings he's built. And I don't mean the domes out in Venus. I mean, let's see an office building, let's see a manufacturing plant, let's see a circular city.' And that's where he should have been 30 years ago. He should have been applying his work, in the real world ... [but] he's not a collaborator, and I think that's why he's never had great public achievements."[53]

When asked by a reporter why he had such difficulty actualizing his many ideas, Fresco responded, "Because I can't get to anybody."[54]

Views on Fresco

Fresco's critical view of modern economics has been compared to Thorstein Veblen's concept of "the predatory phase in human development", according to an article in the journal Society and Business Review.[55][56] Grønborg has labeled other facets of Fresco's ideology a "tabula rasa approach".[57]

Synergetics theorist Arthur Coulter called Fresco's city designs "organic" and "evolutionary", rather than revolutionary.[58] Coulter posits such cities as the answer to Walter B. Cannon's idea of achieving homeostasis for society.[58]

Hypothetical form of government

Fresco described his form of governance in this way: "The aims of The Venus Project have no parallel in history, not with communism, socialism, fascism or any other political ideology. This is true because cybernation is of recent origin. With this system, the system of financial influence and control will no longer exist."[57]

Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar Robert P. Murphy has raised the economic calculation problem against a resource-based economy.[59] In a resource-based economy, Murphy believes there would be no ability to calculate the availability and desirability of resources because the price mechanism is not utilized. Addressing this aspect, another article in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics states criticism of "central plannings" computation problem applies to the ideas of Fresco.[60]

Question of utopianism

The Venus Project states on its website that it is not utopian.[61] Writing for the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, Nikolina Olsen-Rule supports this idea, writing: "For most people, the promise of the project sounds like an unattainable utopia, but if you examine it more closely, there are surprisingly many scientifically founded arguments that open up an entire new world of possibilities."[62]

Morten Grønborg, also of Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, comments that the Venus Project is "this visionary idea of a future society has many characteristics in common with the utopia. ... the word utopia carries a double meaning, since in Greek it can mean both the good place (eutopia) and the nonexisting place (outopia). A good place is precisely what Fresco has devoted his life to describing and fighting for."[63]

Comments on Fresco

Hans-Ulrich Obrist wrote that "Fresco's future may, of course, seem outmoded and his writings have been subject to critique for their fascistic undertones of order and similitude, but his contributions are etched in the popular psyche and his eco-friendly concepts continue to influence our present generation of progressive architects, city planners and designers."[64]

Fresco's work gained the attention of science fiction enthusiast and critic Forrest J Ackerman.[12] Fresco later attracted Star Trek animator, Doug Drexler, who worked with Fresco to produce several computer renderings of his designs.[65]

Commenting on Fresco, physicist Paul G. Hewitt wrote that Fresco inspired him toward a career in physical science.[34][66]


In July 2016, Jacque Fresco received a Novus Summit award for City Design/Community. Novus Summit is supported by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).[67]



  • with Keyes, Ken (1969). Looking Forward. South Brunswick, New Jersey: A.S. Barnes. (1969). ISBN 0-498-06752-1. OCLC 21606. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  • Introduction to Sociocyberneering. Lidiraven Books. 1977. OCLC 6036204. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  • The Venus Project: The Redesign of Culture. Venus, Florida: Global Cyber-Visions. 1995. ISBN 0-9648806-0-1. OCLC 33896367. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  • The Best that Money Can't Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty & War. Venus, Florida: Global Cyber-Visions. 2002. ISBN 0-9648806-7-9. OCLC 49931422.
  • Designing the Future (PDF). Venus, Florida: The Venus Project, Inc. 2007. OCLC 568770383. Retrieved January 9, 2011.

See also


  1. ^ a b "The World According to Fresco". IFF. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Jacque Fresco – Social Engineer – Legendado Português". dotsub. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  3. ^ "Looking Forward" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 6, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Diverse City, Inc., Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, archived from the original on December 20, 2013, retrieved May 28, 2013
  6. ^ "TEDxOjai – Jacque Fresco – Resource Based Economy". YouTube. Retrieved June 25, 2014.[dead YouTube link]
  7. ^ "BBC News – Tomorrow's cities: How the Venus Project is redesigning the future". Bbc.co.uk. August 26, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e 1930 Census (Original Document), Brooklyn, New York: U.S. Department of Commerce, April 3, 1930
  9. ^ "Brave New World". Tablet. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e Gore, Jeff (October 13, 2011). "The view from Venus – News & Features". Orlando Weekly. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Gore, Jeff. "The view from Venus". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Rolfe, Lionel (1998), "Unpopular Science", Fat Man on the Left, Los Angeles: California Classics Books, pp. 166–170, ISBN 978-1-879395-01-5
  13. ^ a b c d e Rolfe, Lionel (1998), "Unpopular Science", Fat Man on the Left, Los Angeles: California Classics Books, pp. 158–161, ISBN 978-1-879395-01-5
  14. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Mac. (December 31, 1961). "A Look Ahead Through Fresco's Window". Florida Living Magazine. Miami. pp. 2–3.
  15. ^ I. "Flying Wing", Great Lakes Technocrat, 11 (11): 34, July–August 1944
  16. ^ a b c Andreeva, Tamara. (March 6, 1950). "Advanced Plane Ideas Rejected". Abilene Reporter-News. Abilene, Texas. p. 9.
  17. ^ "NARA – AAD – Display Full Records – Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 – 1946 (Enlistment Records)". Aad.archives.gov. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Scully, Frank (1950), "The Aerodynamic Correction", Behind the Flying Saucers, New York: Henry Holt & Co., pp. 122–123
  19. ^ a b c "A Trip to the Moon" (PDF). Miami Herald Sunday Magazine. Miami, Florida. April 8, 1956. pp. Section G. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Corporation, Bonnier (May 1947), "Wing Changes Its Camber", Popular Science, 150 (5): 115
  21. ^ "Hydraulic Jack to Alter Airplane Wing's Camber", Science News Letter, 50 (20): 310, November 16, 1946, JSTOR 3923108
  22. ^ "[003] – 1948.06.XX – Official Trend Home Brochure". Scribd.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  23. ^ Rolfe, Lionel (1998). Fat Man on the Left: Four Decades in the Underground. California Classics Books. p. 170. ISBN 9781879395015. Retrieved April 2, 2016. Trend Home Earl Muntz.
  24. ^ "Business Search – Business Entities – Business Programs". Kepler.sos.ca.gov. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  25. ^ Magazines, Hearst (December 1955), "Plastics with a Charge Have Magical Effects", Popular Mechanics, 104 (6): 149
  26. ^ Andreeva, Tamara. (March 3, 1950). "Frustrated Genius". Olean Times Herald. New York. p. 13.
  27. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 27, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Fresco, Jacque (January 28, 2012). "The Immaculate Pig Experiment". TVP Magazine. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  29. ^ "Floating Cities and Resource-Based Economies". News.co.cr. February 27, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  30. ^ a b "$2,950 House Shell Made of Aluminum". The New York Times. New York. May 28, 1961. pp. 1R, 8R.
  31. ^ I. Corporation, Bonnier (March 1967), "We've Changed The Rules", Popular Science, 190V (3): 215
    • II. Watson, Ernest William; Guptill, Arthur Leighton (March 1967), "Rack 'Em Up", American Artist, 31 (3): 8
    • III. "Pamper Your Pipes", Esquire: 163, March 1967
    • IV. Jacque Fresco Enterprises Inc., Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, retrieved May 28, 2013
  32. ^ Cross, Michael S. (1970), "Review: 'Looking Forward'", Library Journal, 94: 612
  33. ^ Hagan, Alisa. (June 13, 1979). "Environmentalists Put City of Future on Display" (PDF). Hollywood Sun Tattler. Hollywood, Florida. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 27, 2013.
  34. ^ a b Hewitt, Paul G. (2010), "Rotational Motion", Conceptual physics, Boston: Pearson/Addison-Wesley, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-13-137583-3
  35. ^ Jenrette, David. (February 11, 1971), "Jacques Fresco", Gold Coast Free Press, 1 (1): 10
  36. ^ I. The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Annual Report (Original Document). Miami: The University of Miami. 1970.
    • II. Bassett, Melanie. (March 6, 1970). "Man Need Not Fear Machine". The Carolinian. Raleigh, North Carolina. p. 4.
    • III. "Series to Explore Suicide or Survival". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. April 23, 1970. pp. 3B.
    • IV. Steigleman, Walt. (October 20, 1971). "'Jules Vernesque' City Shows Plans at USF". The Oracle. Tampa, Florida. p. 9.
  37. ^ The Larry King Show (August 19, 1974). Larry King Interview (Television). Miami: WTVJ 4.
  38. ^ Renick, Ralph; Abrell, Joe; Fresco, Jacque (January 26, 1974). Montage Interview (Television). Montage (WTVJ).
  39. ^ "Jacque Fresco's full interview with Larry King, 1974". Knowledge of Today. January 22, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  40. ^ Tice, Neysa. (October 29, 1981). "Venus Is Headquarters For Sociocyberneering Research Center" (PDF). Lake Placid Journal. Lake Placid, Florida. pp. 1B. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 27, 2013.
  41. ^ Face of the Future (Digital Video). TV New Zealand. 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  42. ^ World Tour Lecture Dates
  43. ^ Adams, Mark (June 22, 2012). "Future My Love (Review)". Screen Daily.
  44. ^ EDI Film Fest, edifilmfest.org
  45. ^ a b Social Security Death Index Master File: Isaac Fresco, Social Security Administration
  46. ^ a b Social Security Death Index Master File: Lena Fresco, Social Security Administration
  47. ^ Florida Divorce Index, Miami, Florida: Florida Department of Health, July 1957
  48. ^ I. "2 Sikh Converts Charged By Army". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. September 20, 1973. p. 2. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  49. ^ Social Security Death Index Master File: Richard Fresco, Social Security Administration
  50. ^ "Bambi Fresco Obituary – Venus, Florida". Tributes.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  51. ^ "Jacque Fresco". The Venus Project. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  52. ^ "RIP Jacque Fresco, the mind died but the idea lives on". Indestructible Ideas. May 22, 2017. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  53. ^ Gore, Jeff (October 13, 2011). "The view from Venus – News & Features". Orlando Weekly. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  54. ^ 7 News Features: The Venus Project (Digital Video). WSVN 7 News. 2009. Archived from the original on March 23, 2011.
  55. ^ Humphries, Maria; St Jane, Michelle (2011), "Transformative Learning in Troubling Times: Investing in Hope", Society and Business Review, 6 (1): 31, doi:10.1108/17465681111105814
  56. ^ For the term "predatory phase", see also the quote from Thorstein Veblen's book The Theory of the Leisure Class, Chapter One: Introductory (Gutenberg Project): "The predatory phase of culture is attained only when the predatory attitude has become the habitual and accredited spiritual attitude for the members of the group; when the fight has become the dominant note in the current theory of life; when the common-sense appreciation of men and things has come to be an appreciation with a view to combat."
  57. ^ a b Grønborg, Morten (2010), "The World According to Fresco", Future Orientation (1): 15–19, archived from the original on May 19, 2012
  58. ^ a b Coulter, Arthur. (October 1996), "The Venus Project: A Review", Journal of the Synergetic Society (247): 10
  59. ^ Murphy, Robert P. (August 30, 2010). "Venus Needs Some Austrians". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  60. ^ Engelhardt, Lucas (Summer 2013), "Central Planning's Computation Problem Review" (PDF), Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 16 (2): 229, archived from the original (PDF) on April 10, 2016, retrieved August 3, 2016
  61. ^ "About". The Venus Project. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  62. ^ Olsen-Rule, Nikolina (2010), "Utopian Spaces", Future Orientation (1): 41, archived from the original on March 31, 2013{{citation}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  63. ^ Grønborg, Morten (2010), "Editorial: Utopia", Future Orientation, 1: 5, archived from the original on March 31, 2013
  64. ^ Obrist, Hans-Ulrich (December 2007), "Futures, Cities", Journal of Visual Culture, 6 (3): 360
  65. ^ Doug Drexler (2006). Doug Drexler Interview (Digital Video). Docflix. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  66. ^ "Author Interviews: Paul G. Hewitt". Pearson. 2003. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  67. ^ "Jacque Fresco (Social Engineer) – NOVUS Award Ceremony, NOVUS Summit 2016". webtv.un.org. Retrieved August 4, 2016.

External links

External videos
video icon Welcome to the Future on YouTube (1998)
video icon Cities in the Sea on YouTube (2002)
video icon Self-erecting Structures on YouTube (2002)
video icon Designing the Future on YouTube (2006)
video icon Future by Design on YouTube (2006)
video icon Paradise or Oblivion on YouTube (2012)
video icon The Choice is Ours on YouTube (2016) Produced/Directed by Roxanne Meadows and Joel Holt