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Today we celebrate Buckminster Fuller, who was born July 12, 1895 in Massachusetts. The world isn't quite like the prolific architect, designer, mathematician, public speaker, artist, futurist, and author dreamed it would be. Sure, we may have geodesic robots stalking around, but we're a long way from working in geodesic domes, driving in 11-person three-wheeled cars, or living in metal houses that independently sustain themselves. However, Fuller's vision for a better designed world, where we could do more with less, is still out there for us to see, and maybe through revisiting these stray prototypes, and the horde of geodesic domes, we can continue to be inspired by Fuller's innovative ideas on living. Below is a tour through the world of Buckminster Fuller on Atlas Obscura.

THE DYMAXION CAR
Reno, Nevada

article-imageThe Dymaxion Car prototype at the National Automobile Museum (photograph by J Brew)

The only remaining model of Buckminster Fuller's super fuel efficient Dymaxion Car that could turn on a dime and hold 11 passengers in its three-wheeled bullet-shaped body is at the National Automobile Museum. ("Dymaxion" was Fuller's branding word for many inventions, the word being a combination of dynamic, maximum, and tension. ) While it's still under restoration to get it back in driving order, you can see it in action in 1933 below:

THE DYMAXION HOUSE
Dearborn, Michigan
 

article-imageThe Dymaxion House in the Henry Ford Museum (photograph by Sacha Pohflepp/Flickr user)

The Dymaxion House, like the Dymaxion Car, represented a better way of living. Only one ever got constructed out in Wichita, Kansas, but the aluminum structure was built to withstand a tornado and has made it into the permanent collection of the Henry Ford Museum. It was designed with surplus WWII materials in 1946, and was meant to be an independent structure with its own heating and cooling, all structured like a futuristic yurt with a central support. Take a tour:

DYMAXION CHRONOFILE
Stanford, California

article-imageDymaxion Chronofile (photograph by Sam Green, via bavc.org)

The Dymaxion Chronofile represents nearly every day of Buckminster Fuller's life in dense scrapbooks with personal and professional correspondence, newspaper clippings, drawings for inventions, and even dry cleaning bils. Rifling through the capsules of what is possibly the best documented life in history, you may even see Fuller's signature thick-framed glasses or his passport. 

THE GEODESIC DOMES

Fuller's idea for "tensegrity," an idea of compressable lattices of interlocking isoahedrons (a favorite Bucky shape which he even used for a map of the world), is best seen in the geodesic dome. Fuller did more to popularize the domes than anyone else, and now you can see this highly efficent use of space everywhere, even if it's more of a retrofuture architecture than our design standard.

SUDBURY NEUTRINO OBSERVATORY
Greater Sudbury, Canada

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AUROVILLE
Auroville, India

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FERMILAB
Batavia, Illinois

article-image(photograph by m-i-k-e/Flickr user)

LEO GILLIS GEODESIC DOME HOUSE
Detroit, Michigan

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ECOPOD
Appin, Scotland

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AREA 66
Yucca, Arizona

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THE SUPERIOR DOME
Marquette, Michigan

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BIOSPHERE
Montreal, Canada

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This is just the beginning of stepping into Bucky's World, where even the most outlandish ideas have some creative solution to humanity's enduring problems. We also recommend viewing some of the hours and hours of Fuller videos online, and keeping an eye out for geodesic domes. 

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