Saturday, October 29, 2011

Buckminster Fuller & The Dymaxion Dream

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller

Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist. [1] The word Dymaxion is a brand name that Buckminster Fuller used for several of his inventions including the Dymaxion house, the Dymaxion car, and the Dymaxion World Map. Dymaxion also came to describe a polyphasic sleep schedule he followed, consisting of four 30 minute naps throughout the day. He also renamed his elaborate journal, in which he sought to document his life as an experiment with the greatest possible detail, as the Dymaxion Chronofile. [2]

Dymaxion World Map
The Dymaxion map or Fuller map is a projection of a world map onto the surface of a polyhedron, which can be unfolded and flattened to two dimensions. The projection depicts the earth's continents as "one island," or nearly contiguous land masses. The Dymaxion map does not have any "right way up". Fuller argued that in the universe there is no "up" and "down", or "north" and "south": only "in" and "out".[4] Gravitational forces of the stars and planets created "in", meaning 'towards the gravitational center', and "out", meaning "away from the gravitational center". He attributed the north-up-superior/south-down-inferior presentation of most other world maps to cultural bias. Showing the continents as "one island earth" also helped Fuller explain, in his book Critical Path, the journeys of early seafaring people, who were in effect using prevailing winds to circumnavigate this world island. [3]

Dymaxion Car
The Dymaxion car was a concept car designed by U.S. inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller in 1933. The word Dymaxion is a brand name that Fuller gave to several of his inventions, to emphasize that he considered them part of a more general project to improve humanity's living conditions. In his 1988 book The Age of Heretics, author Art Kleiner maintained the... reason Chrysler refused to produce the car was because bankers had threatened to recall their loans, feeling the car would destroy sales for vehicles already in the distribution channels and second-hand cars. [4]

Dymaxion House
The Dymaxion House made Fuller suddenly famous on the American architectural scene. The house was a turn away from the orthogonal plan, hexagonal symmetry, a tripod supporting pole in the center from which cables stretch out to the decks- like spokes and a rim from the hub of a wheel. The outter walls of vacuum casein elements are a non-load-bearing screen - opaque, transparent, or translucent. The rooms are lit indirectly by a system of mirror prisms. [5]

Buckminster Fuller & Shoji Sadao. Dome over Manhattan, ca. 1960
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