Buckminster Fuller

(1895 – 1983)

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.“

Buckminster Fuller was a renowned American designer and philosopher known for his groundbreaking inventions. Some of his best-known inventions include the geodesic dome, the futuristic Dymaxion house, and the Montreal Biosphere. “We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance,” he once said. “Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment.” Born Richard Buckminster Fuller on July 12, 1895 in Milton, MA, Fuller enrolled at Harvard University in 1913, but was expelled on two separate occasions. He went on to serve in the US Navy from 1917–1919, and by 1927, he was working as the president of Stockade Building Systems. Living in New York, Fuller began designing early models of the Dymaxion house. His ideas and work went on to influence many artists and designers, such as John Cage and Ruth Asawa. By the end of his career, the inventor held over 2,000 patents in his name, authored 25 books, and had served as the president of Mensa for 9 years. He died on July 1, 1983 in Los Angeles, CA. In 1985, when two chemists identified a new carbon molecule whose structure was similar to a geodesic dome, they named the molecule Buckminsterfullerene. Today, Fuller’s designs and creations are held in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Design Museum in London, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

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