Buckminster Fuller designs

Design Icon: 8 Works by Buckminster Fuller

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Built for the Army in WWII, these tube-like corrugated steel shelters were inspired by a quixotic journey through the Midwest. Fuller and a friend, road tripping in search of unknown letters by Edgar Allen Poe, were struck by the site of metal grain silos lining the road. Inspired, Fuller began working with the manufacturer, Butler Manufacturing, and soon, $1,250 Dymaxion Deployment Units were being built and shipped starting in April of 1941, complete with appliances and furniture by Montgomery Ward. One was displayed in MoMA’s front yard, and the army ordered more than 100 for deployment around the globe. Fuller imagined them as cheap family dwelling and potential post-war vacations homes, but the wartime steel shortage halted further production.