So one fall morning, at the age of 32, Richard Buckminster Fuller considered committing suicide by swimming to exhaustion in Lake Michigan. By the time he got in the water, he had an epiphany in the belief that one individual could help change the world and benefit all mankind. Born in 1895, the American "Bucky" thus became an architect, designer, inventor, writer and futurist. Among his inventions and numerous patents with a humanistic vocation, we know that of the geodesic dome (from the Greek word meaning "to divide the earth"), the fruit of his geometric obsession, his mathematical grail and the systematism of his thought.
Each geodesic sphere is composed of isocahedrons, 3-dimensional solids composed of twenty faces, forming golden rectangles between them: an aesthetic imperative essential to the Fuller method which echoes the aesthetics le gramme.
In fact, the man that some call the "Leonardo da Vinci" of the 20th century said:
"When I work on a problem, I never think in terms of aesthetics. But when I'm finished, if my solution is not beautiful, I know it's wrong. The absolute shape of Fuller's first dome was born in 1949, it supports its weight without mechanical limit, the success begins for this maladjusted, non-conformist, twice expelled from Harvard.
In 1954, Fuller began collaborating with architect Shoji Sado. Together they designed the dome of the USA Pavilion for the Montreal World's Fair, now called "The Biosphere". It was a consecration. La Biopshère became an environmental museum, a reflection of the environmental activism Fuller professed in his work.
He created the Dymaxion concept (a neologism compressing the terms dynamic, maximum and tension), through which he invented the Dymaxion Car, Dymaxion Bathroom, Dymaxion Sleep, Dymaxion Home, each creation aiming to improve the fate of humanity, to cohabit harmoniously with ecosystems, to take advantage of the forces of matter and form. The best known of Dymaxion's expressions is certainly the Dymaxion Map: a planisphere divided into twenty repositionable triangles that make up an isocahedron. The unconventional object, however, re-established the reality of the land masses corrupted by Mercator as much as it overturned the North-South concept deemed unsuitable for humanity by Fuller. To do more with less and less, to do everything with nothing, the adage of the visionary designer resonates with le grammethe bias of exploring the geometric form to derive a universality that makes sense for everyone, that addresses a community at large through the purity of its forms.
Although a visionary, Buckminster did not wear a bracelet or ring (beyond his wedding ring), nevertheless this great traveller was known to have no less than three watches on his wrists at any one time, corresponding respectively to the time in the country he was in, the one he had left and the place in the world he was going to visit. A world that now has 300,000 geodesic domes.