◀ ▲ ▶History / 19th-century / Person: Fuller (2), Richard Buckminster
Person: Fuller (2), Richard Buckminster
R Buckminster Fuller is best known for the invention of the geodesic dome.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- inherited that blend of romantic idealism and Yankee practicality which made him the spiritual heir to Benjamin Franklin and Emerson.
- technology could save the World from itself, providing it is properly used .
- In 1927 he designed the Dynaxion House which was intended to house the technology needed for people to live.
- With its wire construction it was in no way intended to be aesthetic but aimed to be a totally practical machine to live in.
- For many years Fuller worked on ideas for buildings, eventually arriving at the structure for which he is most famous.
- He examined a vectorial system of geometry, Energetic- Synergetic geometry, based on the tetrahedron which provides maximum strength with minimum structure.
- Over 200,000 of such domes have been built, the most famous example being the United States pavilion at the 1967 international exhibition at Montreal.
- Another of Fuller's projects, which he began in 1928, involved the design of a highly unconventional car.
- It was called the Dymaxion car, a three wheeled machine capable of carrying 12 passengers, of crossing fields as well as having a top speed of nearly 200 km per hour.
- With a manoeuvrability which allowed it to turn within its own length this was a remarkable conception and development continued until 1943.
- However, it was never launched as a commercial venture.
- Fuller was the author of many books, including Nine chains to the Moon (1938) which was his first book.
- Later came No more second-hand God (1962), Utopia or oblivion (1969), and Education automation.
- Most famous of all is his 1969 classic Operating manual for spaceship Earth but he also published Earth, Inc.
- (1973), and Critical Path (1981).
- A collection of his writings was published in 1970 as The Buckminster Fuller reader.
- Fuller was research professor at Carbondale, Southern Illinois University, from 1959 to 1968.
- He was appointed as Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University in 1962.
- In 1968 he became a university professor at Southern Illinois University and retained this post until he retired in 1975.
- Fuller was awarded many honours, including a fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
- This Institute awarded him their Royal Gold Medal in 1968.
- He also received the Gold Medal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1968.
- it may be thought, however, that Fuller's greatest contribution lay in the field of education.
- He was a compulsive talker and he canalized this trait into magical extempore lectures of extraordinary duration - often of up to a day or more with breaks for meals.
- Through these he transmitted an enthusiasm for his ideas to generation after generation of students across the world.
- He conceived of man as a passenger in a cosmic spaceship - a passenger whose only wealth consists in energy and information.
Born 12 July 1895, Milton, Massachusetts, USA. Died 1 July 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Architecture, Origin Usa
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive