Buckminster Fuller

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Buckminster

Fuller

Milton, Massachusetts
<p>Image: Young Bucky Fuller (top left on stoop) n.d.<br />
Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller</p>

Richard Buckminster Fuller was born in Milton, Massachusetts, in 1895. During his childhood “Bucky,” as he came to be called, spent most of his summers on the family owned Bear Island in Penobscot, Maine, which instilled in him a lifelong fascination with nature and boats.

Image: Young Bucky Fuller (top left on stoop) n.d.
Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

Chicago, Illinois
<p>Image: Fuller with Dymaxion House model, 1929.<br />
Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller</p>

In the early 1920s Buckminster Fuller joined his father-in-law in establishing the Stockade Building System Company, which Fuller opened a branch in Chicago, Illinois. The company aimed to develop lightweight construction materials for affordable and efficient housing. Soon after Fuller’s time at the company, he went on to conceive the Dymaxion House — an inexpensive, mass-produced, self-sufficient home. Fuller made several “Dymaxion” creations, whose name he coined by blending the words “dynamic,” “maximum,” and “tension.”

Image: Fuller with Dymaxion House model, 1929.
Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

Asheville, North Carolina: BMC
<p>Image: Fuller supine dome with Elaine de Kooning, Albert Lanier, Buckminster Fuller and others. Courtesy the Black Mountain College Courtesy Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina, Asheville, NC.</p>

Buckminster Fuller taught at Black Mountain College during the summers of 1948 and 1949. It was here that Fuller began popularizing his visionary reinvention of the geodesic dome — a structure based on a network of short struts that outline the surface of a sphere. Fuller and his students attempted to erect his first geodesic dome at Black Mountain College, but due to lack of proper materials the dome did not rise. Fuller believed that failure was part of experimentation, embracing the setback as part of a larger process.

Image: Fuller supine dome with Elaine de Kooning, Albert Lanier, Buckminster Fuller and others. Courtesy the Black Mountain College Courtesy Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina, Asheville, NC.

Montreal, Canada
<p>Image: U.S Pavilion at Expo 67. Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller</p>

In 1967, Buckminster Fuller constructed a large geodesic dome for the United States Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, widely considered the most successful world’s fair of the twentieth century. The dome brought Fuller and his invention international attention. Now called the Biosphere, it stands to this day, having been converted in 1995 into a museum focused on environmental issues.

Image: U.S Pavilion at Expo 67. Courtesy The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

Carbondale, Illinois

In the 1960s, Buckminster Fuller taught in the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, drawing on his work as a designer, scientist, researcher, and writer. Traveling and lecturing throughout the world, Fuller became a major figure in American design and architecture. Fuller and his wife Anne Hewlett lived in a geodesic dome during much of the time he taught at SIU. The inventor, visionary, and designer remained dedicated to the improvement of human life through technology until the end of his life in 1983.

Video: Buckminster Fuller's Dome Home youtube.com/watch?v=wltL_qdj3-s