8.25.2009

Fulleristic Livingry

Buckminster Fuller and I would have been good friends. His historical record connotates equal degrees of eccentricity in both talent and results (mine of future value). Definitely one of those figures whom I know even though we can never have met. This is a compilation of record, thought, and quote which will be periodically updated as I make my way through a few of his best works:

1. Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist. Fuller published more than thirty books, inventing and popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetics. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their resemblance to geodesic spheres.

2. Fuller was sent to Milton Academy, in Massachusetts, and after that, began studying at Harvard. He was expelled from Harvard twice: first for spending all his money partying with a vaudeville troupe, and then, after having been readmitted, for his "irresponsibility and lack of interest". By his own appraisal, he was a non-conforming misfit in the fraternity environment. Many years later, however, he would receive a Sc.D. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

3. During 1927, at age 32, bankrupt and jobless, living in public, low-income housing in Chicago, Illinois, Fuller's young daughter Alexandra died from complications from polio and spinal meningitis. Allegedly, he felt responsible and this caused him to become drunk frequently and to contemplate suicide for a while, but he decided instead to embark on "an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity".

4. For the next half-century, Fuller developed many ideas, designs and inventions, particularly regarding practical, inexpensive shelter and transportation. He documented his life, philosophy and ideas scrupulously by a daily diary (later called the Dymaxion Chronofile), and by twenty-eight publications. Fuller financed some of his experiments with inherited funds, sometimes augmented by funds invested by his collaborators, one example being the Dymaxion Car project.

5. Fuller believed human societies would soon rely mainly on renewable sources of energy, such as solar- and wind-derived electricity.

6. Fuller introduced a number of concepts, and helped develop others. Certainly, a number of his projects were not successful in terms of commitment from industry or acceptance by most of the public. However, more than 500,000 geodesic domes have been built around the world and many are in use including the world's largest at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE.

7. Fuller also claimed that the natural analytic geometry of the universe was based on arrays of tetrahedra. He developed this in several ways, from the close-packing of spheres and the number of compressive or tensile members required to stabilize an object in space. One confirming result was that the strongest possible homogeneous truss is cyclically tetrahedral.

8. He experimented with polyphasic sleep, which he called Dymaxion sleep, and claimed that for two years he was able to sleep only two hours a day.

9. Fuller documented his life copiously from 1915 to 1983, approximately 270 linear feet of papers in a collection called the Dymaxion Chronofile. He also kept copies of all ingoing and outgoing correspondence.

10. Buckminster Fuller spoke and wrote in a unique style and said it important to describe the world as accurately as possible. Fuller often created long run-on sentences and used unusual compound words (omniwell-informed, intertransformative, omni-interaccommodative, omniself-regenerative) as well as terms he himself invented.

11. Fuller also invented the word "livingry," as opposed to weaponry (or "killingry"), to mean that which is in support of all human, plant, and Earth life. "The architectural profession--civil, naval, aeronautical, and astronautical — has always been the place where the most competent thinking is conducted regarding livingry, as opposed to weaponry."

12. Bucky used the invented phrase "Dymaxion" to describe his designs. "Dymaxion", is a portmanteau of "Dynamic maximum tension". He used these three words repeatedly throughut his work.

Source: Wikipedia


~Dedicated to the benefit of humanity without bankruptcy, public housing, and loss.