Saturday, May 28, 2011

28 May 1957 “Buckminster Fuller and the Geodesic Dome”

fuller1 Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller was an American engineer, designer, inventor, author, and futurist. He hails from my home state of Massachusetts and had a very colorful youth. He was kicked out of Harvard twice, once for “spending all his money partying with a vaudeville troupe”.
His most famous work is with the geodesic dome, which even garnered names for Carbon molecules known as ”fullerenes”, named by scientists for their resemblance to geodesic spheres.

Though many associate the dome with the earth/natural movement of the 1970’s, Fuller had created these unique forms in the 1950’s. Today I am sharing this article with you on his work from a 1954 Better Homes and Gardens.

I just want to go off topic here for a moment and point out that I loved that a woman’s magazine in the 1950’s thought to include up to the minute news in design and science. How odd to consider a homemaker, a woman to boot, would be interested in science and design. Again, another example of our perceived idea of how women were treated or represented in the 1950s and the actual fact. Compare this with a woman’s magazine of today.

fuller2 Now to the article. These can be clicked upon to read full size.

fuller3 This first part of the article I also found rather interesting. You will see that we Americans flew into Afghanistan to assemble one of these. I think we often forget that the U.S. has had relations and been dealing with the Middle East right after WWII. Our need and desire to make our mark in an oil rich area was going on that early. Though in the 1950’s we were a major oil producer ourselves, we knew that it might not last forever. I wonder if this structure still stands?

fuller4 Here we see a restaurant in Woods Hole, MA, which is on Cape Cod, where I live. This structure has not been a restaurant since the late 80’s I believe. The last I heard of it, it was to be incorporated into a retirement complex. At it’s beginning you can see that the dining took place with the ceiling being open and clear to the sky, rather wonderful I am sure. buckydome Today it has a membrane covered a majority of the ceiling. I believe there was issues with leaking. I couldn’t find any photos, but into the 70’s and 80’s the interior ceilings were covered in various draping fabric and the more open modern tables and chairs were replaced with very 1970’s diner seating.

fuller5 This is a long article and I shall have part two tomorrow, Sunday. I hope you enjoy learning about these unique structures.

I am also including this in-depth interview with Fuller. Here is the first part and all 18 parts are available on APRON TV HERE. If it doesn’t load directly to the page, they can be found under Vintage Design. Today’s Vintage Daily News will also feature more about domes and Fuller’s work.

Happy Homemaking.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the old pic's of Bucky Fuller!!!


 Search The Apron Revolution