Dymaxion House

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buckminster fuller, the dude

story of dymaxion house

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The Politics of Futurism and the Dymaxion House

In the failure of the Dymaxison House, the politics of futurism comes into question. While certainly the Dymaxion House found opposition to success through its own failure in the marketplace, the ideological context which it was conceived could also be to blame for

DYMAXION HOUSE; Pitter-Patter On the Roof

Published: May 31, 1992

To the Editor:

In reading Witold Rybczynski's essay "A Little House on the Prairie Goes to a Museum" [ April 19 ] , I was reminded of the time in 1944 when I participated in a conference with Buckminster Fuller regarding his Dymaxion House. I attended at the request of my boss. He told me he would like to have an engineer accompany him. (I am an aeronautical engineer.) He wanted me as window dressing. Since I might feel uncomfortable if I said nothing, he advised, "You can say anything you feel like."

We drove to the New Jersey Meadowlands, where we discussed the possibility of my boss financing a 500-house development. It was wonderful to hear Fuller's description of the technical achievements in his house, and the idea of a central compression column and thin curtain walls sounded extremely efficient.

I realized that the three-hour conference was almost over and I had not made a single comment, so I asked: "Mr. Fuller, Grumman Aircraft gave me an employee's discount on an aluminum canoe. I like the canoe, but it isn't good for fishing because of the noise the water makes against the hollow aluminum. Would the noise on the roof be bothersome?"

He laughed and said, "Well, I hadn't thought of that."

On the way back to New York, I asked my boss if he was going to buy the houses, and he told me he was not. I said, "Why not? They seem so exciting." He told me it was because of the question I had asked and explained: "It wasn't your question; it was his answer. If he hadn't thought of that, I wondered how many other things he hadn't thought of."

- LEONARD M. GREENE White Plains, N. Y.