Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)
He was born at Milton, Massachusetts. During freshman year he was expelled from Harvard University.
Standing only 5'2" tall, Buckminster Fuller loomed over the twentieth century. Admirers affectionately call him Bucky, but the name he gave himself was Guinea Pig B. His life, he said, was an experiment.
When he was 32, Buckminster Fuller's life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. He embarked on "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity."
To this end, Buckminster Fuller spent the next half century searching for "ways of doing more with less" so that all people could be fed and sheltered. Although he never obtained a degree in architecture, he was an architect and engineer who designed revolutionary structures. His famous Dymaxion House was a pre-fabricated, pole-supported dwelling. His Dymaxion car was a streamlined, three-wheeled vehicle with the engine in the rear. His Dymaxion Air-Ocean Map projected a spherical world as a flat surface with no visible distortion.
But Fuller is perhaps most famous for his creation of the geodesic dome - a remarkable, sphere-like structure based on theories of "energetic-synergetic geometry" which he developed during WWII. Efficient and economical, the geodesic dome was widely hailed as a possible solution to world housing shortages.
During his lifetime, Buckminster Fuller wrote 28 books and was awarded 25 United States patents. Although his Dymaxion car never caught on and his design for geodesic domes is rarely used for residential dwellings, Fuller made his mark in areas of architecture, mathematics, philosophy, religion, urban development and design.
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