The Dymaxion Ideal
| an exploration of the life and works of R. Buckminster Fuller... engineer, architect, inventor, and philosopher.
| articles and features
| page two
"I'd learned at school that in order to make a sphere, which is what a bubble is, you employ 'pi'. I'd also learned that 'pi' is an irrational number� so when does nature have to fudge it and then make some kind of compromise bubble? And millions of them per second. I think it is too many decisions for nature to make."
At this critical moment, Fuller surmised that nature must employ a different system, and he was determined to discover precisely what nature's geometry indeed was.
Fuller began exploring vectoral geometry; it was from these initial investigations that he formulated his concepts about 'nature's geometry'. He ultimately reasoned that the geometry of nature must be based on the triangle. The triangle, defined by Fuller, is a set of three related energy events, so that each one, with minimum effort, stabilizes the opposite events. It was a triangle, translated three dimensionally into the tetrahedron ( a pyramid with four faces), which thus became the basis of his rationalization. In theory, nature utilizes the least complicated means to accomplish a given event, therefore the tetrahedron represented 'the minimum prime divisor of Fuller's 'omni-directional universe'. The tetrahedron was the basic building block of the universe according to Fuller, an element providing the greatest strength with the least surface area of any polyhedron. Such revelations of his 'Synergetic-Energetic' geometry as it was called, were later confirmed by discoveries in the structuring of polio viruses and molecular patterning of metallic atoms.
Throughout his life, R. Buckminster Fuller relied upon his 'uncommon sense' and engineering background to develop innovative principles of design. His concepts were clear and logical-- the way things should and must be to exist in the world-- to him.
In fact, notions from his engineering experiences led Fuller to experimentation exploring the possibilities of materials. Fuller recalled that if a certain diameter steel column could support a given load in compression, the same column had the capabilities of supporting twenty times that load if the load were hung from the column tensionally. Buildings had traditionally been built by piling things up in compression. Fuller anticipated that a method on doing 'more with less' would be to construct buildings which relied on tension rather than traditionally applied compression forces.
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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.