|Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983)
Image – Edgy01
On Juli 12, 1895, American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was born. He is well known for numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, including the widely known geodesic dome.
Buckminster Fuller had essential problems with mathematics, especially geometry during his school time and preferred building small tools in the woods near his home. He later found that these experiences helped him find his interest in design, construction and the knowledge of which tools and materials to use. Fuller started his academic career at Harvard University, but was expelled from the institution twice. Firstly for spending all of his money on partying and secondly for showing no responsibility and interest.
Luckily, Fuller was not only a thinker, but also a very practical man. In between his times at Harvard he served in the U.S. Navy as a radio operator and a crash rescue boat commander. After the war he started a company, building water and fireproof housing equipment together with his father in law but unfortunately failed. In the late 1920’s, Fuller was apparently bankrupt but never ended to perform some of his numerous experiments like the one in which he tried to find a way how a single person was able to contribute to benefiting the whole humanity.
During his recovery, Buckminster Fuller worked as a interior designer and lecturer, which he proceeded until the late 1949. He worked at a College in North Carolina where he continued the project that would make him famous, the geodesic dome. The first modern dome was built by Walther Bauersfeld functioning as the planetarium of the Carl-Zeiss works. Still, Fuller was awarded with the construction’s patents and is credited for its popularization. As soon as the U.S. government heard of Fuller’s achievements, his company was to build numerous for the Marines, wherefore thousands of domes were constructed globally.
Image – Sicnag
Next to the dome, Fuller spent lots of experimenting time and money on designing inexpensive housing and transportation items. For instance, he built prototypes of the so called Dymaxion, an aerodynamic car with three wheels and with seats for 11 people. His designed system was very energy efficient. Unfortunately, one of the prototyped got into a bad car accident, wherefore all research stopped and all investors stepped back.
Despite a few setbacks, Buckminster Fuller’s reputation grew globally. His understanding of the world and its functionality was revolutionary at his time. he believed that at some point, humanity would rely on renewable energy sources. He became the ‘Humanist of the Year 1969′ and was awarded with a total of 28 patents and several honorary doctorate degrees.
Buckminster Fuller defined knowledge as the real wealth in society. He promoted sustainability in every aspect of life, beginning from transportation, housing going furtherly to education and global energy sources. Even though he often warned contemporary academics about the dangers in case humans would continue living the way they did, he never gave up on the people stayed optimistic towards humanity’s future.
At yovisto, you may enjoy session one of a video collection of Buckminster Fuller’s Everything I know.
References and Further Reading:
- The Prescient Vision of a Gentle Revolutionist
- Buckminster Fuller Institute
- Dymaxion Man: The Visions of Buckminster Fuller
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