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R. Buckminster Fuller

Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster Fuller), 1895–1983, American architect and engineer, b. Milton, Mass. Fuller devoted his life to the invention of revolutionary technological designs aimed at solving problems of modern living. His developments include "energetic" geometry (1917); the "4-D" house (1928), a self-contained, dustless unit (transportable by air); the streamlined Dymaxion auto (1933); and the sleek silver Dymaxion house (1944–45), Wichita, Kans., a circular structure that was restored, rebuilt, and installed (2001) at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Dymaxion, a word coined by Fuller in 1930, was his term for the principle of deriving maximum output from a minimum input of material and energy, best realized in his geodesic domes. These are spherical structures of extremely light, enormously strong triangular members. In the 1950s these domes were widely used for military and industrial purposes. Fuller's many books include Nine Chains to the Moon (1938), the autobiographical Ideas and Integrities (1963), Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969), Utopia or Oblivion (1970), Approaching the Benign Environment (1970), Earth, Inc. (1973), and Critical Path (1981).

See biography by A. Hatch (1974); studies by S. Rosen (1969) and H. Kenner (1973); The Buckminster Fuller Reader, ed. by J. Meller (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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