This man was a force to be reckoned with. He was born in 1895 and was just like any other kid- struggling in school, playing in the woods, and not doing anything remarkable. Then came his 20s and that all went out the window. He studied at Harvard, got expelled twice, and was the president of the High I.Q. Society. What did he do with his education? He became a mechanic at a textile mill…then a laborer in a meat-packing industry. He later joined the navy for WWI and was a radio operator, writer and crash-boat commander- eventually just going back to meat-packing.
While he was packing up meats all day, he decided to dip his toe into flexing his brain power and began working with his father in law. Together they developed the Stockade Building System- lightweight, weatherproof, and fireproof housing. Sounds amazing, right? Nope. It was too far ahead of his time.
His building failed, he went bankrupt, he ended up in low-income housing, and he daughter died of polio. This downward spiral resulted in his heavy drinking and suicidal tendencies. It was hitting his rock bottom that he decided to turn his life around. He chose to embark on “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.” He made a commitment to “the search for the principles governing the universe and help advance the evolution of humanity in accordance with them… finding ways of doing more with less to the end that all people everywhere can have more and more.”
And that he did.
Above is one of Fuller’s Geodesic Spheres and his Dymaxion car. The car was to be lightweight (about the the weight of a VW Beetle), economical, aerodynamic, and fuel efficient.
The car seats 11, goes 120 miles per hour, and gets 30 miles to the gallon. It also has 3 wheels, a periscope in place of a rear-view mirror, and the ability to make a U-Turn along the 20 feet length of the entire car. The real kicker? This was first exhibited in 1933. I bet you were thinking 70s weren’t you? Nope, he was much more ahead of his time than anyone realized.
I love this house! It feels like something a modern architect would have featured in AD Magazine…mixed with an old diner (which was still ahead of his time). I can’t imagine how frustrating it would have been to be that advanced and not be fully appreciated
More inside the post!
A series of Fuller’s Geodesic domes were created for the Eden Project. “The Eden Project is a large-scale environmental complex near Cornwall, England. The complex includes two giant, transparent domes made of ETFE cushions, each emulating a natural biome, that house plant species from around the world. The first emulates a tropical environment, the other a warm temperate, mediterranean environment.