Dymaxion House

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DYMAXION = DYnamic + MAXimum + TensION

Henry Ford Museum
diagrammatic model of Dymaxion House Construction
Bucky and house.jpg
invitation to debut of the Dymaxion House

Buckminster Fuller

[Read Up. The Man, the Myth, The Legend]

Biographic bits pertaining to the conception/life of the Dymaxion House

Story of dymaxion house

autonomy and efficiency

cheap light and reproducible <---hangouts from social reform, goal modernity, - making home life around him systematic life at the end of the production line?


indiviuality within a house......


1. house is a labor of love 2. creating the most efficient house 3. needs to have a critical mass of people who are willing to sacrifice choice.

Wrong place, wrong time, OR The eternal pendulum of pop culture

One possible cause of the death, or non-implementation, of the Dymaxion House could be in fact completely divorced from the design itself, and more reliant on prevalent social and cultural attitudes of the time. One could argue that the cultural aesthetic of the United States has shifted its preference between two opposing poles, on the one hand the concept of mass homogeneity, association with "popular" culture, and a singularly unified "public," and on the other the desire for individuality and finding one's "niche." This can be seen throughout the 20th century: WWI as unity, the prosperous 20's as individuality, the Great Depression (30's), WWII (40's) and 50's suburbanization/baby boom generation all acted as unifying cultural forces, the 60's and 70's promoted individual liberty, and the ubiquity of the ubiquitous I-want-my-MTV generation in the 80's and 90's.

The failure of the Dymaxion House to popularize could simply be attributed to the cultural climate of the time and place. Fuller first publicly unveiled the design on July __, 1929, at the tail end of the [Roaring Twenties], and just months before Black Tuesday and the stock market crash. This unfortunate timing fell at the end of an affluent era, when people had the choice and money to not live in something that looks like what everybody else is living in, and just before anybody who would potentially fund or could potentially fabricate the Dymaxion House en-masse. All of the "good" qualities that Fuller touted were in fact all of the undesirable qualities of the time period.

The Politics of Futurism and the Dymaxion House

In the failure of the Dymaxison House, the politics of futurism comes into question. While certainly the Dymaxion House found opposition to success through its own failure in the marketplace, the ideological context which it was conceived may be equally responsible for pre-fabricated housing to catch on in the late 1930s.

Certainly one of the common follies of Dead Media lies around the concept of being "before its time," a device or media which looked to solve problems which were outside the everyman's needs. In looking to solve "future-issues," by fundamentally rethinking what a house was, the Dymaxison House failed to reconcile with the evolution of the house itself. In the wake of "New Deal" politics, Fuller himself looked to recreate the most basic of American possessions

DYMAXION HOUSE; Pitter-Patter On the Roof

Published: May 31, 1992

To the Editor:

In reading Witold Rybczynski's essay "A Little House on the Prairie Goes to a Museum" [ April 19 ] , I was reminded of the time in 1944 when I participated in a conference with Buckminster Fuller regarding his Dymaxion House. I attended at the request of my boss. He told me he would like to have an engineer accompany him. (I am an aeronautical engineer.) He wanted me as window dressing. Since I might feel uncomfortable if I said nothing, he advised, "You can say anything you feel like."

We drove to the New Jersey Meadowlands, where we discussed the possibility of my boss financing a 500-house development. It was wonderful to hear Fuller's description of the technical achievements in his house, and the idea of a central compression column and thin curtain walls sounded extremely efficient.

I realized that the three-hour conference was almost over and I had not made a single comment, so I asked: "Mr. Fuller, Grumman Aircraft gave me an employee's discount on an aluminum canoe. I like the canoe, but it isn't good for fishing because of the noise the water makes against the hollow aluminum. Would the noise on the roof be bothersome?"

He laughed and said, "Well, I hadn't thought of that."

On the way back to New York, I asked my boss if he was going to buy the houses, and he told me he was not. I said, "Why not? They seem so exciting." He told me it was because of the question I had asked and explained: "It wasn't your question; it was his answer. If he hadn't thought of that, I wondered how many other things he hadn't thought of."

- LEONARD M. GREENE White Plains, N. Y.


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE6DD163EF932A05756C0A964958260&scp=17&sq=buckminster%20fuller%201992&st=cse - Dymaxion Letter to the editor