Buckminster Fuller designs

Design Icon: 8 Works by Buckminster Fuller

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Inspired by the look and energy efficiency of a grain silo, Fuller’s plan for affordable housing introduced his ideas of sustainability, as well as his famous portmanteau (dynamic, maximum and tension) to the world. Developed in the 20s—it debuted at Chicago’s famous Marshall Field’s department store—it looks more imaginative than the most outlandish space serials and pulp comics. But behind the striking appearance is a quantum leap in efficiency. The entire single-family aluminum home could be flat-packed in a metal tube, a rotating "O-Volving" shelf system stores items out of sight, and the Dymaxion bathroom supposedly provided a warm shower with a mere cup of hot water. Only a few prototypes were built, including the Wichita House, which was re-assembled and is now displayed at the Henry Ford Museum.