Buckminster Fuller

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Richard Buckminster Fuller (July 12 1895 - 1983) was an American designer, architect, inventor, and writer.

He became famous for his huge geodesic domes, which can be seen as part of military radar stations, city halls and exhibition attractions. Their construction is based on extending basic principles to build simple geometric structures (tetrahedron, octahedron, and the closest packing of Spheres). Built in this way they are extremely lightweight and stable. After getting a first patent for his domes in 1954, Fuller went on to explore nature's constructing principles to get solutions for designs in many areas of human life. Being ahead of his time, he built an aerodynamic car, energy efficient houses, tensegrity structures and other things.

Buckminster Fuller is one of the first people who propagated a systemic worldview (see 'Operating manual for Spaceship Earth', 'Synergetics') and explored principles of energy and material efficiency in the fields of architecture, engineering and design.


He was born on the 12th of July 1895 in Milton, Massachusetts. He began studying at Harvard but left the university. In 1927 at the age of 32, bankrupt and jobless, he was on the verge of suicide. However, he decided to embark on an experiment: what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity. Documenting his life scrupulously in a half-century daily diary, Fuller went on to be awarded 47 honorary doctorates.

After several industrial jobs he worked as an architect. In the late 1920s he had some success with his new concepts of buildings, which were marketed under the 'Dymaxion' label.

His career really started after having success with his huge geodesic domes in 1950s. He then went on to work as designer, scientist, developer, and writer as well. He had contracts with several state and industrial organizations. He also lectured on design.

His spatial talents have been commemorated by naming a new allotrope of carbon (Fullerene) after him.

Concepts and Buildings

His concepts and buildings include:

  • Dymaxion house (1928)
  • Aerodynamic Dymaxion car (1933)
  • prefabricated compact bathroom cell (1937)
  • world map (1940)
  • buildings (1943)
  • tensegrity structures (1949)
  • geodetic dome for Ford Motor Company (1953)
  • patent on deodetic domes (1954)


Some of his writings are:

  • Operating manual for spaceship earth (1969)
  • Synergetics (1975, ISBN: 0-02-541870-X)
  • Cosmography (1992 (posthum))