The Dymaxion Ideal
| an exploration of the life and works of R. Buckminster Fuller... engineer, architect, inventor, and philosopher.
| articles and features
| page four
There is a certain faith fundamental to Fuller's designs, 'synergy' as he liked to describe it. It is the behavior of a complete system, not predictable by knowledge of its individual parts or subassemblies. Rather it is the cohesive collection of the total whole. Fuller always approached structures in this manner, for they were merely manifestations of a society that operated similarly. This faith in the individual parts is poignantly illustrated about a man sorting mail on an express train... Fuller's 'Epic Poem'.
"with unuttered faith that
the engineer is competent
that the switchmen are not asleep
that the track walkers are doing their job
that the technologists
who designed the train and rails
knew their stuff
that the thousands of others
whom he may never know by face or name
are collecting tariffs
paying for repairs
and so handling assets
that he will be paid a week from today
and again a week after that
and that all the time
his family is safe and in well being
without his personal protection"
Mutual trust of interdependent parts... the trust that sustains the mail sorter, the airline passenger, the pedestrian, and the machine. Fuller saw society itself as essentially just a machine - a set of seemingly independent components working together, both consciously as well as inadvertently, for the benefit of the whole - Fuller's Synergy.
One of the first projects to test the principles developed by R. Buckminster Fuller was the 1927 4D House. The house integrated Fuller's concepts of efficiency, economy, portability, and compatibility of parts. Ultimately intended for mass production, the house was marketed for roughly the same price as an automobile. Hexagonal in plan, it was neatly suspended via tension cables from a central mast. The house also alluded to features, which at the time, had not yet been invented; television, photoelectric cells, dishwashers, and doors with electric eyes. As part of an exhibition at the Marshall-Fields Department Store in 1929, the house was coined as the 'Dymaxion House'. A synthesis of dynamic, maximum, and ion, the phrase became a symbol of Fuller's later works.
<<< more about the Dymaxion Ideal >>>
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.