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R. Buckminster Fuller Collection Architect, Systems Theorist, Designer, and Inventor

Exploring Bucky

"A sailor, a machinist, a comprehensive generalist, a doer, a new former, a student of trends, a technical editor, a businessman, an angel, a quarterback, a lecturer, a critic, an experimental seminarist, a random element, a verb, a comprehensive designer, an inventor, an engineer, an architect, a cartographer, a philosopher, a poet, a cosmogonist, a choreographer, a visionary, a scientist, a valuable unit, a mathematician, an air pilot, a Navy lieutenant, an affable genie, a geometer, a maverick thinker, a gentle revolutionist, a lovable genius, an anti-academician, doctor of science, doctor of arts, doctor of design, doctor of humanities, an amiable lunatic, a prophet, the custodian of a vital resource."

Thus went Robert Snyder's apt description of R. Buckminster Fuller, alias "Bucky," one of the twentieth century's most remarkable and prolific creators. Where language failed to describe his diversity of activities, Fuller coined his own term, calling himself a "comprehensive anticipatory design scientist." The polymathic nature of Fuller's activities gave him an expansive outlook on the twentieth century. His enormous energy, his passionate interest in applying science to solve the problems of humanity, and his mesmerizing personality earned him fame if not fortune during his lifetime. Bent on developing inexpensive, mass-producible housing and transportation, he developed the housing units and car, and later pioneered the geodesic dome. He proposed innovative housing and transportation projects, explored new mathematical systems, designed new maps, and even wrote poetry.

In this section, you can learn more about R. Buckminster Fuller's life and his work, from the geodesic dome to the Dymaxion Car and House, illustrated with some selections from the digital collection.