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BuckyWorks: Buckminster Fuller's Ideas for Today Paperback – August 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471198129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471198123
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Often alluded to as a 20th-century Leonardo da Vinci, R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was a visionary of the modern age. As an architect, inventor, engineer, writer, mathematician, and educator, his utopian humanism was evident in the way he devoted his life to designing objects, including buildings and cars, that would solve many of the problems of modern living. He was an early proponent of geodesic domes--semispherical structures made up of incredibly light and extremely strong triangular components--which he recommended for economical and energy-efficient housing and other purposes. An entire chapter in this engaging book is devoted to domes; other chapters cover Fuller's far-reaching ideas on the Dymaxion House, Dymaxion Transportation, Synergetics, and Megastructures. ("Dymaxion" was a term Fuller coined to describe getting the most output from minimal input of energy and materials.) With more than 200 black-and-white photos and drawings, this is a wonderfully nontechnical introduction to and celebration of the man, his remarkable inventions, and their modern-day relevance.

From Publishers Weekly

A useful, informal introduction to visionary engineer Buckminster Fuller's ideas, discoveries and inventions, this survey is illustrated with some 200 photographs, drawings and plans that help demonstrate how Fuller nurtured concepts from paper napkin to finished gizmo. Baldwin, an editor of Whole Earth Catalog and Whole Earth Review, is an inventor who worked closely with Fuller (1895-1983) and who has designed and built experimental domes. Along with Fuller inventions and blueprints such as the aluminum, aerodynamically modeled Dymaxion car, the geodesic dome, "Lightful House" 12-deck residential towers and energy-efficient corrugated cottages with silo tops, Baldwin explains synergetics, Fuller's system purporting to describe the coordinates and energy flow of the universe. He also discusses the World Game Institute, founded by Fuller in 1972, which conducts workshops demonstrating how a small fraction of the world's military expenditures could be redeployed to eliminate starvation and malnutrition, stabilize the population and provide clean, safe energy.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bill Bazik on January 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller, "Bucky," died in l983 at age 88. He is known the world over for his invention of the geodesic dome. The author of this book knew him for 31 years.

Bucky, as he was known to everyone, (except his wife of 66 years) was not a college graduate, yet he received 47 honorary degrees during his lifetime. His influence on architectural and product designing was--and still is--tremendous.

This book is of interest not only as a tribute to his inventiveness, but for detailing why many of his concepts, to this day, have not been accepted. The full-page cartoon on page 20 is a classic example of his frustration. It depicts an automobile being made on the driveway of a home. Bucky argued for years how ridiculous it is that we build houses 'from scratch' on a house lot. If we built cars that way, as the cartoon shows, they would cost $300,000! It should be noted that the American Institute of Architects (AIA), in 1928, passed a resolution "...on record as inherently opposed to any peas-in-a-pod-line reproducible designs." Others, sewer system builders, carpenters, electricians, etc., indicated they too would oppose home-building innovations.

One reason the geodesic dome concept succeeded was that the military did not need to consult zoning and codes when it needed a transportable light weight and super strong structure for a mountain top or an Arctic location.

You will be amazed at how much his 1934 car designs resemble today's vans. Equally amazing is his "traveling cartridge," a small car transportable by air or rail. No need to rent a car. It could even be used as a sleeping unit.

His "Triton City" was designed as a floating city (100,000 people) for Tokyo Bay.
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Plus on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Buckminster Fuller has fascinated me since my teens because of his borderline science-fictional ideas and his quest to use technology to provide for 100% of humanity -- which unfortunately is a moving target during an era of population growth. Baldwin's book doesn't quite satisfy my curiosity about the current state of Fuller's posthumous work, since he gives me the impression that it's stuck somewhere back in the post-Hippie 1970's. I certainly hope that the field has advanced further along than the dumbed-down "Whole Earth Catalogs" version which celebrated geodesic model kits and "sustainable" (i.e., voluntarily hardship-inducing) technologies.
What I would like to see in a proper review of Fuller's legacy includes (a) mathematicians' assessment of his synergetic geometry, which is more radically anti-Euclidean than non-Euclidean in that it rejects the whole Greek paradigm of "abstraction" from physical objects; (b) economists' assessment of his argument that with proper resource use and rational design decisions we really could take care of 100% of humanity; (c) a discussion of why, if Fuller's goal is indeed practical, after 250 years of industrial and technological progress we've devolved from objectively useful work -- making and moving stuff on farms, in mines and in factories -- into to a situation where we hold absurd, time-wasting and nonproductive "jobs" in "services" (which sociologist Daniel Bell characterized as postindustrial "games between persons"), while billions of other humans don't even have the basics for a materially decent life; (d) and why this goal isn't on the agenda of any major politician or other world-recognized and respected figure.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Humberto Mejia on October 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought tis book several years ago based on a recommendation as a good intro th Buckys work. This book is a gem for all of those who are inclined to engineering and design, not only because of the explanations and ilustrations, but also as testimonial to the thought of the great genius.

Im still amazed that Bucky's thought have not been embraced by us modern citizens.

I am trying to introduce a revolutionary solar coating here in Venezuela [..], I think of the aluminum domes built in Ghana that used natural convection for cooling, and people thoight they were in fact to cold!!! sustainable development has been around longer than we thought, are we ever going to strat smelling the coffee???
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Staples on August 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've been interested in the ideas and work of Buckminster Fuller for a long time but whenever I've tried to read his books I can't get through them, they're too dense for me. J. Baldwin has a clear and concise writing style which he enhances with illustrative photographs. His book really shows the practical applications of Bucky's work. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It showed many of Buckminster Fuller's 'interesting' ideas. Many great photos of him with his inventions. It was just all around great. Buy it, you won't soon regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Sprague on October 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved Bucky Fuller since '70s from 'Whole Earth Catalog' & still now making many geo-dome tools, toys & inspired drawings of natural geometry. This book is the best low tech architecture showing 100? different ways with charming stories of how to build & analyze them for practical uses, efficiency beauty, etc. Its a peak since the Dome Books 1 & 2 '70s with 100s of ways of home & multi use building domes. This is user friendly history & potentials of how Bucky domes & many other evolution of Natures crystal geometry works in infinite potentials of creative angles, like tipis, A frames, yurts, (Domebook 2 & Domebook: How to Construct Cardboard Geodesic Play-Domes], Yomes, icosahuts, tree houses, etc.
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