Jacque Fresco
Born (1916-03-13) March 13, 1916 (age 108)
Occupation(s)Futurist, social engineer, structural engineer, architectural designer, industrial designer, author, lecturer
Known forThe Venus Project, resource-based economy ideas.
Notable workLooking Forward[1] (1969), The Best That Money Can't Buy[2] (2002)

Jacque Fresco (born March 13, 1916), is an American futurist and self-described social engineer. Fresco is self-taught and has worked in a variety of positions related to industrial design.

Fresco writes and lectures his views on sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural-resource management, cybernetic technology, automation, and the role of science in society. Fresco directs The Venus Project.[3] Fresco advocates global implementation of a socioeconomic system which he refers to as a "resource-based economy."[4][5]

Early life

Born March 13, 1916,[6] Jacque Fresco grew up in a Sephardi Jewish[7] home in Bensonhurst in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.[8]Fresco grew up during the Great Depression period.

Fresco spent time with friends discussing Darwin, Einstein, science, and the future.[9] Fresco attended the Young Communist League. After a discussion with the League president during a meeting Fresco was 'physically ejected' after loudly stating that 'Karl Marx was wrong!'[10] Fresco later turned his attention to Technocracy.[9]


Aircraft Industry

Fresco worked at Douglas Aircraft Company in the California during the late 1930s.[10][11] Fresco presented designs including a flying wing[12] and a disk-shaped aircraft. Some of his designs were considered impractical at the time and Fresco's design ideas were not adopted.[13]Fresco resigned from Douglas because of design disagreements.[10][13]

In 1942, Fresco was drafted into the United States Army.[9][14] He was assigned technical design duties for the Army Air Force at Wright Field design laboratories in Dayton, Ohio.[9][15][13][16] 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 of the wings during lift and flight.[17][18] Fresco did not adjust to military life and was discharged.[9]

File:Jacque Fresco and Earl W. Muntz (1947).png
Model of the Trend Home

Trend Home

Fresco was commissioned by Earl Muntz, to design housing that was low cost. Fresco along with his associates Harry Giaretto and Eli Catran conceived, designed and engineered a project house.[19]This took place in the summer of 1948.[20] Fresco, 32 years old at the time, came closest to traditional career success with this project called the Trend Home. Built mostly of aluminum and glass, it was on prominent display at Stage 8 of the Warner Bros. Sunset Lot in Hollywood. The cost to tour the Trend Home during the three months it was on display was one dollar.[20] Proceeds went to the Cancer Prevention Society. The Trend Home needed federal funding but funding for that project was rejected.

Scientific Research Laboratories

In the late 1940s, Fresco created and was director of Scientific Research Laboratories in Los Angeles.[16][21] Here he also gave lectures, and taught technical design,[10] meanwhile researching and working on inventions as a freelance inventor and scientific consultant.[22] During this period, Fresco struggled to get his research funded[23] and faced setbacks and financial difficulties. In 1955, Fresco left California after his lab was removed to build the Golden State Freeway.[10][11]


In 1955 Fresco moved to Miami, Florida. He opened a business as a psychological consultant but had no formal schooling in the subject.[11]Receiving a 'barrage of criticism' from the American Psychological Association Fresco stopped that business.[11] In a newspaper article from that time period Fresco claimed to have a degree from Sierra University, Los Angeles California, which is unverified.[24]

Fresco described white supremacist organizations he joined to test the feasibility of changing people. He tells of joining the Ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Council in an attempt to change their views about racial discrimination.[25]

In Miami Fresco presented designs of a circular city.[26] Fresco made his living working as an industrial designer for various companies such as Alcoa and the Major Realty Corporation.[11]

In 1961, with Pietro Belluschi and C. Frederick Wise,[27] Fresco collaborated on a project, known as the Sandwich House.[11] Consisting of mostly prefabricated components, partitions, and aluminum, it sold for $2,950, or $7,500 with foundation and all internal installations.[27] During this period, Fresco supported his projects by designing prefabricated aluminum devices through Jacque Fresco Enterprises Inc.[28]

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

Looking Forward

Looking Forward was published in 1969. Author Ken Keyes Jr., and Jacques 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'.[29]

Sociocyberneering, Inc

Fresco formed "Sociocyberneering," a membership organization claiming 250 members according to an interview of Fresco.[30] Fresco hosted lectures in Miami Beach and Coral Gables[31][32] Fresco promoted his organization by lecturing at universities[33] and appearing on radio and television.[34][35]Fresco's "sociocyberneering" as a membership group was discontinued and land was purchased at another location in rural Venus, Florida. Fresco established his home and research center there.[36]

Venus Project and later career

File:Jacque Fresco Venus Construction.png
Construction in Venus

In 1994, Fresco incorporated The Venus Project.[3]

File:Jacque Fresco at research center.png
Fresco with Roxanne Meadows in Venus

Fresco, with Meadows, supported the project in the 1990s through freelance inventing,[37] industrial engineering, conventional architectural modeling,[38] and invention consultations.[38]

In 2002, Fresco published his main work The Best That Money Can't Buy. In 2006, William Gazecki directed the semi-biographical film about Fresco, "Future by Design"[39] 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.[38]

In 2010, Fresco attempted to trademark the phrase "resource-based economy"[40] The phrase was reviewed and found to be too generic, and the trademark was denied.

Throughout 2010, Fresco traveled with Meadows, worldwide to promote interest in The Venus Project.[41][42] On January 15, 2011, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward was released in theaters, featuring Fresco.[43]

In November 2011, Fresco spoke to protesters at the "occupy Miami" site at Government Center in Miami.[44] In April 2012, Roxanne Meadows released a film, Paradise or Oblivion, summarizing the goals and proposals of the Venus Project.[45] 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.[46][47]

Currently, Fresco holds lectures and tours at The Venus Project location.[48]

Personal life and family

Fresco was born to immigrants from the Middle East, Isaac and Lena Fresco.[6] His father was born in 1880[49] and around 1905 immigrated from Istanbul to New York where he worked as a horticulturalist.[6] He died in 1963.[49] Fresco's mother was born in 1887[50] in Jerusalem and also migrated to New York around 1904.[6] She died in 1988.[50] Fresco was brother to two siblings,[6] 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 years in Miami.[16] He divorced his second wife in 1957 and remained unmarried thereafter.[51] His second wife, Patricia, gave birth to a son, Richard, in 1953 and a daughter, Bambi, in 1956. Richard was an army private[52] and died in 1976.[53] Bambi died of cancer in 2010.[54]

Roxanne Meadows has assisted Fresco since 1976. As Fresco's domestic partner and administrative colleague, she oversees much of the management of the Venus Project.[38]

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 has 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.”[55]

Fresco on Fresco: When asked by a FOX reporter why he has such difficulty actualizing his many ideas, Fresco responded, "Because I can't get to anybody."[56]

Historic connections

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 of Society and Business Review.[57][58] Grønborg has labeled other facets of Fresco's ideology a "tabula rasa approach."[59]

Synergetics theorist, Arthur Coulter, calls Fresco's city designs 'organic' and 'evolutionary' (rather than revolutionary).[60] Coulter posits such cities as the answer to Walter B. Cannon's idea of achieving homeostasis for society.[60]

Fresco's work has been compared to the work of Paolo Soleri and Buckminster Fuller[61] who, according to The Futurist, are classed as "comprehensive designers seeking to realize in practical terms their grand visions of a better future world" while struggling to implement it.[62][63]

Hypothetical form of government

His hypothesis of a resource-based economy is sometimes equated with Marxism,[64] socialism, communism, or fascism.[48][65][66] Fresco responds to these comparisons by stating, "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."[59]

Writing in the Naples Daily News, Steve Schmadeke, notes, "it's also true that his system of governance, in which authority is given to the expert in each field – in this case, specially programmed computers – is one that many writers, including Nobel-prize-winner Friedrich Hayek, have shown to be disastrous."[67]

Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar Robert P. Murphy has raised the calculation problem against a resource-based economy.[68] In a resource-based economy, Murphy claims there is 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.[69]

Question of utopianism

Questioning whether Fresco's ideology is utopian, Viktor Vakhshtayn, the director of the Department of Sociology at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, claims that Fresco has carried forth a perspective that bypassed utopian perspectives of the twentieth-century. He describes the whole of Fresco's ideology as "telling us about the deep past of the future." That, "in fact, the whole history of the 20th century is the history of death of utopia. This is in fact what gives Jacque Fresco such power. He jumped from the 19th century to the 21st century, leap-frogging the 20th century. It's a single step from Jules Verne to Jacque Fresco. This is very powerful. This keeps amazing me."[70]

In regard to 'utopianism', Nikolina Olsen-Rule, writing for the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, remarks, "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."[71] Morten Grønborg, also of Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, points out,

Perhaps the modern interpretation of the word "utopia" is to blame when the Renaissance man and futurist Jacque Fresco says ... he doesn't want to call his life work, The Venus Project, a utopia. However, 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.[72]

Comments on Fresco

Hans-Ulrich Obrist notes, "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."[73]

Fresco's work gained the attention of science fiction enthusiast and critic, Forrest J Ackerman,[9] Fresco would later attract Star Trek animator, Doug Drexler, who worked with Fresco to produce several computer renderings of his designs.[74]

Commenting on Fresco, physicist, Paul G. Hewitt, wrote that Fresco inspired him toward a career in physical science.[31][75]





  1. ^ http://www.thevenusproject.com/downloads/ebooks/looking_forward/Looking-Forward-v2.pdf
  2. ^ http://zgm.se/files/Books/The-Best-That-Money-Cant-Buy.pdf
  3. ^ a b The Venus Project Inc., Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, retrieved May 28, 2013
  4. ^ "TEDxOjai - Jacque Fresco - Resource Based Economy". YouTube. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "BBC News - Tomorrow's cities: How the Venus Project is redesigning the future". Bbc.co.uk. August 26, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e 1930 Census (Original Document), Brooklyn, New York: U.S. Department of Commerce, April 3, 1930
  7. ^ "Brave New World". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved October 13, 2013. ((cite web)): Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ Gore, Jeff (October 13, 2011). "The view from Venus - News & Features". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ I. "Flying Wing", Great Lakes Technocrat., Vol. 11, No. 11, July–Aug. 1944: 34 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  13. ^ a b c Andreeva, Tamara. (March 6, 1950). "Advanced Plane Ideas Rejected". Abilene Reporter-News. Abilene, TX. p. 9.
  14. ^ "NARA - AAD - Display Full Records - Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records)". Aad.archives.gov. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Scully, Frank (1950), "The Aerodynamic Correction", Behind the Flying Saucers, New York: Henry Holt & Co., pp. 122–123
  16. ^ a b c "A Trip to the Moon" (PDF). The Miami Herald Sunday Magazine. Miami. April 8, 1956. pp. Section G.
  17. ^ "Wing Changes Its Camber", Popular Science., Vol. 150, No. 5: 115, May 1947 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  18. ^ "Hydraulic Jack to Alter Airplane Wing's Camber", Science News Letter., Vol. 50, No. 20: 310, (November 16, 1946)., JSTOR 3923108 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ "[003] - 1948.06.XX - Official Trend Home Brochure". Scribd.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Gore, Jeff (October 13, 2011). "The view from Venus - News & Features". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Business Search - Business Entities - Business Programs". Kepler.sos.ca.gov. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  22. ^ "Plastics with a Charge Have Magical Effects", Popular Mechanics., 'Vol. 104, No. 6: 149, December 1955
  23. ^ Andreeva, Tamara. (March 3, 1950). "Frustrated Genius". Olean Times Herald. New York. p. 13.
  24. ^ http://www.thevenusproject.com/images/stories/archived-media/Newspapers/1956%20-%20MiamiHerald/Binder1.pdf
  25. ^ Fresco, Jacque (January 28, 2012). "The Immaculate Pig Experiment". TVP Magazine. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  26. ^ "Floating Cities and Resource-Based Economies". News.co.cr. February 27, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  27. ^ a b "$2,950 House Shell Made of Aluminum". The New York Times. New York. May 28, 1961. pp. 1R, 8R.
  28. ^ I. "We've Changed The Rules", Popular Science., Vol. 190, No. 3: 215, March 1967 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  29. ^ Cross, Michael S. (1970), "Review: 'Looking Forward'", Library Journal., Vol. 94: 612 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  30. ^ Hagan, Alisa. (June 13, 1979). "Environmentalists Put City of Future on Display" (PDF). Hollywood Sun Tattler. Hollywood, FL. p. 1.
  31. ^ a b Hewitt, Paul G. (2010), "Rotational Motion", Conceptual physics, Boston: Pearson/Addison-Wesley, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-13-137583-3
  32. ^ Jenrette, David. (February 11, 1971), "Jacques Fresco", Gold Coast Free Press., Vol. 1, No. 1: 10 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  33. ^ 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, NC. p. 4.
    • III. "Series to Explore Suicide or Survival". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, FL. April 23, 1970. pp. 3B.
    • IV. Steigleman, Walt. (October 20, 1971). "'Jules Vernesque' City Shows Plans at USF". The Oracle. Tampa, FL. p. 9.
  34. ^ The Larry King Show (August 19, 1974). Larry King Interview (Television). Miami: WTVJ 4.
  35. ^ Renick, Ralph; Abrell, Joe; Fresco, Jacque (January 26, 1974). Montage Interview (Television). Montage (WTVJ).
  36. ^ Tice, Neysa. (October 29, 1981). "Venus Is Headquarters For Sociocyberneering Research Center" (PDF). Lake Placid Journal. Lake Placid, FL. pp. 1B.
  37. ^ Eyman, Scott. "The Great Idea Chase". Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, FL. p. 7 date = July 14, 1985. ((cite news)): Missing pipe in: |page= (help)
  38. ^ a b c d Gore, Jeff. (October 13, 2011). "The View from Venus". Orlando Weekly. Orlando, FL.
  39. ^ Gazecki, W. (2006). Future by Design. on YouTube Docflix.
  40. ^ Resource Based Economy Trademark, United States Patent & Trademark Office
  41. ^ Face of the Future (Digital Video). TV New Zealand. 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  42. ^ World Tour Lecture Dates[dead link]
  43. ^ Joseph P. (2011). "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" on YouTube
  44. ^ Tracy, Liz (November 19, 2011). "The Venus Project's Jacque Fresco Lectures Occupy Miami on His Visions of a Utopian Future". Miami New Times. Miami, FL.
  45. ^ "Free Documentary Solves Global Debt Crisis in 48 Minutes". PRWeb. April 15, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  46. ^ Adams, Mark (June 22, 2012). "Future My Love (Review)". Screen Daily.
  47. ^ EDI Film Fest, edifilmfest.org
  48. ^ a b Newman, Alex (March 10, 2011). "Zeitgeist and the Venus Project". The New American. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  49. ^ a b Social Security Death Index Master File: Isaac Fresco, Social Security Administration
  50. ^ a b Social Security Death Index Master File: Lena Fresco, Social Security Administration
  51. ^ Florida Divorce Index, Miami, FL: Florida Department of Health, July 1957
  52. ^ I. "2 Sikh Converts Charged By Army". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. September 20, 1973. p. 2.
  53. ^ Social Security Death Index Master File: Richard Fresco, Social Security Administration
  54. ^ "Bambi Fresco Obituary - Venus, Florida". Tributes.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  55. ^ Gore, Jeff (October 13, 2011). "The view from Venus - News & Features". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  56. ^ 7 News Features: The Venus Project (Digital Video). WSVN 7 News. 2009.
  57. ^ Humphries, Maria; St Jane, Michelle (2011), "Transformative Learning in Troubling Times: Investing in Hope", Society and Business Review., Vol 6, No. 1: 31 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  58. ^ 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."
  59. ^ a b Grønborg, Morten (2010), "The World According to Fresco", Future Orientation., Issue 1: 15–19 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  60. ^ a b Coulter, Arthur. (October 1996), "The Venus Project: A Review", Journal of the Synergetic Society, No. 247: 10 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  61. ^ Schubert, Lawrence. (August 1997), "Future Perfect" (PDF), Detour.: 86
  62. ^ Notaro, Anna (Dec/Jan 2005.), "Imagining the Cybernetic City: The Venus Project" (PDF), Nebula., Vol. 2, No. 4: 1–20 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  63. ^ Fresco, Jacque (May/June 1994.), "Designing the Future", The Futurist., Vol. 28, No. 3: 30 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  64. ^ "Welcome to the Future Review", Video Librarian., Vol. 13, No. 5: 66, October 1998 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  65. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (February 2, 2011). "Brave New World". The Tablet. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  66. ^ Swan, Rhonda (May 1, 2009). "A Dream Worth Having". The Palm Beach Post. W. Palm Beach, FL. pp. 12A.
  67. ^ Schmadeke, Steve (October 27, 2002). "Venus Before Dawn". Naples Daily News. Naples, FL. pp. 1G & 3G.
  68. ^ Murphy, Robert P. (August 30, 2010). "Venus Needs Some Austrians". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved December 30, 2011. ((cite web)): Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  69. ^ "Central Planning's Computation Problem Review" (PDF), Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 16 (2): 229, Summer 2013
  70. ^ Kuznetsov, Yevgeny; Vakhshtayn, Viktor; Filonovich, Sergey; Khramkova, Ekaterina. (December 22, 2011). Knowledge Stream 10: Engineer for an Ideal Future (Video). Moscow, Russia: Digital October.
  71. ^ Olsen-Rule, Nikolina (2010), "Utopian Spaces" (PDF), Future Orientation, Issue 1: 41 ((citation)): |volume= has extra text (help)
  72. ^ Grønborg, Morten (2010), "Editorial: Utopia", Future Orientation., 1: 5
  73. ^ Obrist, Hans-Ulrich (December 2007), "Futures, Cities", Journal of Visual Culture, 6 (3): 360
  74. ^ Doug Drexler (2006). Doug Drexler Interview (Digital Video). Docflix. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  75. ^ "Author Interviews: Paul G. Hewitt". Pearson. 2003. Retrieved March 23, 2011.