The Gee-Whiz Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller

Since I’m all for writing about past futures and incorporating them into my stories, chalk one more up to the “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” department.

If you want to see what the future was supposed to look like, look no further than Buckminister Fuller. An architect, designer, inventor, and author, “Bucky” was perhaps the world’s first futurist (all kudos aside to “Blade Runner” designer Syd Mead.) He created cars, buildings, and even new ways of thinking about systems. The terms “Spaceship Earth”, Dymaxion, and synergy all come from Fuller. He was a man devoted to using science and higher thinking to improve us–the perfect future-thinking mind.

Take a trip to Epcot center in Disney World, Florida and you’ll instantly recognize Bucky’s work.

Spaceship Earth, EPCOT Center, Florida
Spaceship Earth, EPCOT Center, Florida

Fuller had 28 patents for everything from the geodesic dome to the “World Game”, a sort of prototype for the kind of social-political simulations used by today’s economists and other political scientists. His thinking on synergy and systems shows up in almost every bit of advertising yakkum from powerful corporations to insurance.

Besides the dome, Fuller is best known for the “Dymaxion car”, a three-wheeled conveyance that could carry up to 11 people and got 30 miles to the gallon. This thing just simply screams: “retro future” and would look at home on any radio-controlled highway of tomorrow.

Dymaxion Car
Dymaxion Car

Learn more about Buckminster Fuller on Wikipedia (naturally). And other sources.

 

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