Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Buckminster Fuller  

Pen Name: R. Buckminster Fuller, Richard Buckminster Fuller

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1895 in Milton, Massachusetts

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Started a construction company in Chicago called the Stockade Building System. Fuller was also a research professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1959.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller was to become one of the most creative thinkers of the twentieth century. Fuller was schooled at the Milton Academy. During World War I he served briefly in the U.S. Navy.Fuller invented the stockade brick-laying method, which consisted of bricks reinforced with concrete poured into vertical holes in the bricks. He went to Chicago, where his mother originally lived, to start a construction company, the Stockade Building System. He also designed his the Dymaxion house. "Dymaxion" was a term that Fuller used to refer to anything that derived maximum output from minimum material and effort. His "house on a pole" was a self-contained unit suspended from a central mast and included a complete recycling system.He also designed the Dymaxion car, an omnidirectional vehicle that gave minimum resistance to the wind. The vehicle could seat 12 passengers, run at 120 mi per gallon, make 180 degree turns, and average 28 mi/gallon. Fuller's first real financial break came in 1940 with his Dymaxion Deployment Unit (DDU). This circular self-cooled living unit with pie-shaped rooms was made of corrugated steel. The British purchased DDUs for use in World War II. Before long, Fuller was shipping them all over the world.After the war, Fuller went on the lecture circuit and became quite a celebrity. He was appointed Dean at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1948, where he developed his Tensegrity Dome, which used tetrahedrons to balance the tension and integrity of the structure.After leaving Black Mountain in 1949, Fuller worked on his geodesic dome. That year, he constructed a model of the dome on the lawn of the Pentagon. Ford Company gave him his first major contract in 1953 to build a dome over the courtyard of the company headquarters in Detroit. The U.S. Defense Department became his largest customer, using his domes as temporary housing units and to house sensitive radar equipment in harsh environments.Fuller became a research professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1959. He went on to propose domes for whole cities, like East St. Louis, to protect them from industrial smog. By the time of his death in 1983, Fuller's domes were in place worldwide, making Fuller's name well known.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Critical Path
ISBN: 0312174918

St. Martin's Griffin. 1982

R. Buckminster Fuller is regarded as one of the most important figures of the 20th century, renowned for his achievements as an inventor, designer, architect, philosopher, mathematician, and dogged individualist. Perhaps best remembered for the Geodesic Dome and the term "Spaceship Earth," his work and his writings have had a profound impact on modern life and thought.

Critical Path is Fuller's master work--the summing up of a lifetime's thought and concern--as urgent and relevant as it was upon its first publication in 1981. Critical Path details how humanity found itself in its current situation--at the limits of the planet's natural resources and facing political, economic, environmental, and ethical crises.

The crowning achievement of an extraordinary career, Critical Path offers the reader the excitement of understanding the essential dilemmas of our time and how responsible citizens can rise to meet this ultimate challenge to our future.

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
ISBN: 3037781262

Lars Muller. 2008

Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) was an architect, engineer, geometrician, cartographer, philosopher, futurist, inventor of the famous geodesic dome, and one of the most brilliant thinkers of his time. For more than five decades, he set forth his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems in numerous essays, which offer an illuminating insight into the intellectual universe of this renaissance man. These texts remain surprisingly topical even today, decades after their initial publication.
While Fuller wrote the works in the 1960’s and 1970’s, they could not be more timely: like desperately needed time-capsules of wisdom for the critical moment he foresaw, and in which we find ourselves. Long out of print, they are now being published again, together with commentary by Jaime Snyder, the grandson of Buckminster Fuller. Designed for a new generation of readers, Snyder prepared these editions with supplementary material providing background on the texts, factual updates, and interpretation of his visionary ideas.
Initially published in 1969, and one of Fuller’s most popular works, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth is a brilliant synthesis of his world view. In this very accessible volume, Fuller investigates the great challenges facing humanity, and the principles for avoiding extinction and “exercising our option to make it.” How will humanity survive? How does automation influence individualization? How can we utilize our resources more effectively to realize our potential to end poverty in this generation? He questions the concept of specialization, calls for a design revolution of innovation, and offers advice on how to guide “spaceship earth” toward a sustainable future.
And it Came to Pass – Not to Stay brings together Buckminster Fuller’s lyrical and philosophical best, including seven “essays” in a form he called his “ventilated prose”, and as always addressing the current global crisis and his predictions for the future. These essays, including “How Little I Know”, “What I am Trying to Do“, “Soft Revolution”, and “Ethics”, put the task of ushering in a new era of humanity in the context of “always starting with the universe.” In rare form, Fuller elegantly weaves the personal, the playful, the simple, and the profound.

Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking
ISBN: 0020653204

Macmillan Pub Co. 1982

Using an inspired combination of geometric logic and metaphors from familiar human experience, Bucky invites readers to join him on a trip through a four-dimensional Universe, where concepts as diverse as entropy, Einstein's relativity equations, and the meaning of existence become clear, understandable, and immediately involving. In his own words: "Dare to be naive... It is one of our most exciting discoveries that local discovery leads to a complex of further discoveries."

Intuition
ISBN: 0915166208

Impact Publishers. 1983

"In this series of poem-essays, Fuller elaborates his notion that intuition is our most important faculty. He asserts that out metaphysical minds alone can conceptualize the nature of the Universe, noting key differences between the mind and the physical brain." (from the back cover description)

Humans in Universe
ISBN: 3110097729

De Gruyter Mouton. 1984

Book by Fuller, Richard Buckminster

Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller
ISBN: 3907044886

Lars Mller Publishers. 1999

"Bucky" was one of the most revolutionary technological visionaries of this century. As an architect, engineer, entrepreneur, poet, he was a quintessentially American, self-made man. But he was also an out-sider: a technologist with a poet's imagination who already developed theories of environmental control in the thirties ("more with less") and anticipated the globalization of our planet ("think global

- act local"). This visual reader documents and examines Fuller's theories, ideas, designs, and projects. It also takes an analytical look at his ideology of technology as the panacea.

With numerous illustrations, many published here for the first time, as well as texts by Fuller and the editors.

The publication presents Buckminster Fuller's creations as a dazzling expression of this unconditionally optimistic technocrat whose vision of driverless Spaceship Earth led him to examine the principles of maximizing effects in the most diverse sectors of design and construction.

R. Buckminster Fuller on Education
ISBN: 0870232045

Univ of Massachusetts Pr. 1979

Ten lectures and essays spanning the period from 1961 to 1978 contain explicit statements by Fuller on education and reflect his concern that education assist minds to function with a minimum of blockage and wasted motion

Fuller's Earth: A Day With Bucky and the Kids
ISBN: 0312309813

St Martins Pr. 1984

During a day spent with three children--one tenand two twelve-year-olds--inventor Buckminster Fuller talks about the universe and how it works and answers the children's wide-ranging questions

Synergetics 2: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking
ISBN: 0020926405

Macmillan Pub Co. 1983

Offers an alternative view of the classic physics of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton and a fresh interpretation of Einstein's theories

Tetrascroll: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, A Cosmic Fairy Tale
ISBN: 0312793626

ULAE /St. Martin's Press. 1982

Includes the complete text and drawings from a series of twenty-one lithographs Fuller made to give an overview of his philosophy and recounts how the triangular prints were assembled into the Tetrascroll