Fresco was self-taught and 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. Fresco directs the Venus Project.
Fresco advocated global implementation of a socioeconomic system which he referred to as a “resource-based economy”.
Jacque Fresco was born on March 13, 1916, and grew up in a Sephardi Jewish household, at the family’s home in Bensonhurst, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Fresco was a teenager during the Great Depression.
Fresco spent time with friends discussing Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, science, and the future.
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!’
Fresco left home at the age of 14, hitchhiking and ‘jumping’ trains as one of the so-called “Wild Boys of the Road.”
Fresco later turned his attention to technocracy.
Fresco worked at Douglas Aircraft Company in California during the late 1930s.He presented designs including a flying wing and a disk-shaped aircraft. Some of his designs were considered impractical at the time and Fresco’s design ideas were not adopted. Fresco resigned from Douglas because of design disagreements.
In 1942, Fresco was drafted into the United States Army. He was assigned technical design duties for the Army Air Force at Wright Field design laboratories in Dayton, Ohio.
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. Fresco did not adjust to military life and was discharged.
Fresco was commissioned by Earl Muntz, to design housing that was low cost. Muntz invested $500,000 seed money in the project. Fresco along with his associates Harry Giaretto and Eli Catran conceived, designed and engineered a project house called the Trend Home.Fresco, 32 years old at the time, 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 make mass production.
This experience led Fresco to the conclusion that society would have to be changed for his inventions to reach their potential.
In 1955 Fresco moved to Miami, Florida. He opened a business as a psychological consultant but had no formal schooling in the subject. Receiving a ‘barrage of criticism’ from the American Psychological Association Fresco stopped that business.In a newspaper article from that time period Fresco claimed to have a degree from Sierra University, Los Angeles California, which is unverified.
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.
In Miami Fresco presented designs of a circular city. Fresco made his living working as an industrial designer for various companies such as Alcoa and the Major Realty Corporation.
In 1961, with Pietro Belluschi and C. Frederick Wise, Fresco collaborated on a project, known as the Sandwich House. Consisting of mostly prefabricated components, partitions, and aluminum, it sold for $2,950, or $7,500 with foundation and all internal installations.During this period, Fresco supported his projects by designing prefabricated aluminum devices through Jacque Fresco Enterprises Inc.
From 1955 to 1969 Fresco named his social ideas “Project Americana”.
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.
Fresco formed “Sociocyberneering”, a membership organization claiming 250 members, according to an interview with Fresco.He hosted lectures in Miami Beach and Coral Gables Fresco promoted his organization by lecturing at universities and appearing on radio and television.
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. Fresco’s “sociocyberneering” as a membership group was discontinued and the land, was purchased at another location in rural Venus, Florida. He established his home and research center there.
The Venus Project reflects the culmination of Mr. Fresco’s life work: the integration of the best of science and technology into a comprehensive plan for a new society based on human and environmental concern. It is a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age.
His particular lecture technique enables uninformed audiences to grasp the significance of complex social and technical issues through his use of analogy, example, and anecdote. He speaks dramatically and passionately about the urgent transitional problems facing our contemporary society. His audiences find their attention focused closely on the words of Mr. Fresco from brilliant beginning to profound end. Mr. Fresco’s lectures have consistently been received with praise and enthusiasm.
He speaks dramatically and passionately about the urgent transitional problems facing our contemporary society. His audiences find their attention focused closely on the words of Mr. Fresco from brilliant beginning to profound end. Mr. Fresco’s lectures have consistently been received with praise and enthusiasm.
Fresco, with Meadows, supported the project in the 1990s through freelance inventing, industrial engineering, conventional architectural modeling, and invention consultations.
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. 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.
Jacque died peacefully on the morning of May 18, 2017 at 101 years of age. There were many close friends with him the last few days of his life.
The Venus Project will go on towards our aims and proposals and as Jacque and I always say, “If you want a better world you have to work towards it. If you do nothing, nothing will happen.” We are fortunate to have the lifetime of Jacque Fresco’s work to provide a comprehensive direction to move towards; something our world is lacking and desperately needs.