buckminister Fuller

Topics: Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion house, Geodesic dome Pages: 6 (2221 words) Published: March 16, 2014
Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller was born in Milton, Masachusetts, U.S.A (1895-1983). He was an American engineer and architect who sought to express the technology and needs of modern life in buildings and enclosures of space. Fuller was a research professor at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) from 1959 to 1968. In 1968 he was named university professor, in 1972 distinguished university professor, and in 1975 university professor emeritus. Queen Elizabeth II awarded Fuller the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. He also received the 1968 Gold Medal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Fuller was a descended from a long line of New England Nonconformists, the most famous of whom was his great-aunt, Margaret Fuller, the critic, teacher, and woman of letters and cofounder of The Dial, organ of the Transcendentalist movement. Fuller was twice expelled from Harvard University and never completed his formal education. He saw service in the U.S. Navy during World War I as commander of a crash-boat flotilla. In 1917 he married Anne Hewlett, daughter of James Monroe Hewlett, a well-known architect and muralist. Hewlett had invented a modular construction system using a compressed fiber block, and after the war Fuller and Hewlett formed a construction company that used this material (later known as Soundex, a Celotex product) in modules for house construction. In this operation Fuller himself supervised the creation of several hundred houses. Fuller found that formal education got in the way of his being able to educate himself to the full potentiality of the powers that were within him. When one of the senior members of The Architects Collaborative in Harvard Square (an area which is noted for its architects) found out that Buckminster Fuller was going to be recorded for national public television and radio broadcast at the historic Meeting House of the First Parish in Cambridge, he said, "I think he is the Thomas Alva Edison of our time." Marshall McLuhan called Bucky "the 20th century Leonardo da Vinci."

Nonetheless, Buckminster Fuller was no simple technological inventor; his thought has profoundly affected our awareness of the amazing, emerging social and environmental potential of humanity. It's important to note that in 1927 a drastic change took place in his life. He decided that he was going to commit his life to the furtherance of humanity. He found ingenious ways of doing that repeatedly. People began to say, "Oh Bucky, you're a thousand years ahead of your time!" A decade later, he noted, people were saying, "Oh, Mr. Fuller, you're a century ahead of your time." Now, he says that they said, "My, you certainly are up to date!"

He had an intense interest in expanding people’s ability to control large areas of their environment and still have a close relationship with nature. His designs show the influence of such natural molecular structures as the tetrahedron. Fuller solved many design problems in such diversified fields as cars, buildings, and cities. His influence spread through his lectures, teaching and writings. A collection of his essays discussing his theories and designs as published as Ideas and Integrities (1963)

He gained international attention in 1927 by designing an all-metal prefabricated home called a Dymaxion house. Between 1932 and 1935, he designed a revolutionary bullet-shaped three-wheeled car. After World War II (1939-1945), he concentrated on designing large, lightweight prefabricated enclosures that he called geodesic domes.

In 1927, in the course of the development of his comprehensive strategy, he invented and demonstrated a factory-assembled, air-deliverable house, later called the Dymaxion house, which had its own utilities which was Fuller's solution to the need for a mass-produced, affordable, easily transportable and environmentally efficient house. The word "Dymaxion" was coined by combining parts of three of Buckminster’s favorite words:...
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