The Dymaxion Ideal
| an exploration of the life and works of R. Buckminster Fuller... engineer, architect, inventor, and philosopher.
| articles and features
| page one
Richard Buckminster Fuller, 1895-1983, was a most peculiar man. A short, enthusiastic bundle of thought, he often talked for many hours at a time about a plethora of subjects, relying on his seemingly indefatigable reserves of energy to provide his stamina. He was a man who has been described by some as a visionary, a prophet, a genius, and a crackpot. His theories and inventions have had a dramatic impact upon the thinking of the twentieth century. But Fuller, or 'Bucky' as he was more affectionately known, did not perceive himself as an inventor, but rather as a discoverer of general principles. He insisted that he did not set out to design a house suspended from a pole, manufacture a new type of automobile, or create a new system of cartography. Instead he merely started with the 'universe' and practicably applied its principles to specific applications. As Fuller once asserted, "I could have ended up with a pair of flying slippers".
The events that shaped Fuller's early life would later have a profound impact upon his beliefs and theories. One particular occurrence while attending Milton Academy in Massachusetts perhaps best epitomizes his precociousness as a young boy. Not surprisingly, Fuller excelled in mathematics, a subject he envisioned only as a 'game'. As the study of geometry began, the instructor explained that points, lines, and planes as elements of geometry, did not exist. The instructor stacked the planes, which did not exist, on top of each other to form a cube... which she said that 'existed'. Fuller wondered how you could possibly 'get existence from nonexistence', asking the instructor how much it weighed, how old it was, etc. To Fuller, the cube simply did not have the properties he felt defined existence.
Interestingly, Fuller never completed college. After a brief educational interlude at Harvard, he was expelled for 'irresponsible conduct'. The simple truth was that Fuller was too individualistic and, quite honestly, too much of an oddball in thought and appearance to meet the conformity of the young Ivy League aristocrats. In 1917, after joining the U.S. Navy, another incident occurred which ultimately led to his realization of the 'universe'. While standing on the stern of a running ship, Fuller contemplated the wake of millions of bubbles upon the water�
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Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work
This wonderful book traces the life and creations of this most unique and brilliant mind. A great introduction to Fuller's works, the book reveals the events that not only shaped his life, but his many inventions and architectural innovations as well.