The Dymaxion Ideal
| an exploration of the life and works of R. Buckminster Fuller... engineer, architect, inventor, and philosopher.
| articles and features
| page three
As a result of this premise, Fuller rejected the works of Walter Gropius and other practitioners of the International Style. He dismissed their works as merely 'a prestidigitator's trick resulting in faddish nonsense'. Fuller concluded that the so-called modernism of the International Style only looked modern, a style that still relied upon steel skeletons to support the compressionally loaded structure. Plainly, Fuller viewed architecture as a profession still dictated by style and tradition.
"They work under a system that hasn't changed since the Pharaohs. When you're an architect, the patron tells you where he's going to build and just what he wants to do. And he says, 'my brother is in the hardware business, and my wife wants this, and here is the building code, and the labor laws, and here are the zoning regulations, and here is the Sweet's Catalogue. I don't want anything special outside of it! So the architect is really just a tasteful purchasing agent. He discovers he has inherited a skeletal frame and guts, and all you can do is out in curtain walls - what I call exterior decorating... so who designs what you build?"
Thus Fuller viewed architecture, in all its glorious 'modernism', as a practice regulated by the dictums and customs of traditional beliefs. What he sought was a new language... an economical, engineered aesthetic expressively truer to the modern age of man.
Progress meant mobility. 'Trees have roots, men have legs', Fuller would often proclaim. Accordingly, he felt the built environment should inherently reflect this fundamental aspect of mankind. This premise, in conjunction with his concepts of geometrical systems and materials, provided Fuller with the means to embrace his vision of modernism. His motives were deeply rooted in the idea of mobility and ephemeralization... of doing the most with the least possible means. Subsequently, Fuller initiated a revolution in modern architecture that encompassed much more than the idioms of the avant garde - truth to materials and abstention form ornament. His was the ambitious quest to bring both matter and energy into dynamic equilibrium.
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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.