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.
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