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While Fuller's thinking outside of the box is admirable, none of his "revolutionary" designs ever worked. The geodesic dome is a great idea so long as you dont need to enter it or use the space inside. The real issue is whether a "revolutionary" idea becomes a practical solution to our everyday lives which never happened with Fuller. Building structures inspite of known impractical drawbacks (i.e. slanting or curved walls) just leads to an architecture that appeals solely to a desire for an unusual aesthetic form that gets in the way of functional needs.

I'd say architects like Aalto and Belluschi would probably be among the biggest inspirations for local architects, more refined quality with regional identity than spectacularly unsuccessful attempts at redesigning the wheel.

Eric Cantona

Dr. J is correct on all counts.


Well, there are plenty of people currently, happily, living in geodesic domes who would be surprised to hear that their homes "don't work."

Most people are afraid of ideas which are "outside the box."

The Status Quo - Maintain it!


Fuller's genius extends far beyond his contributions to material minimizing structure. His philosophy of human ability to meet each of our material needs by efficiency and sharing influenced generations. He was critical of our fragile and misdirected financial systems, a promoter of the end of war, an early proponent of renewable energy.

The question of inspiration is not for architects alone. The question is for creative people in all fields participating in the Portland incarnation of today's Black Mountain College.

Note while spherical section geodesic domes are strongest, ovoid structures are nearly as strong and produce more human structured space.


I attended a fascinating lecture by Fuller where he demonstrated his ability to speak without notes across a wide variety of subjects seamlessly. That night, I learned of his deep appreciation of simple efficient solutions to common human issues. If I remember correctly, he exalted the functional elegance of objects like the paper milk carton and the paper clip, designs so valuable to society it is hard to imagine a world without them.

Fuller inspires me to look beyond current design fashion trends to the timelessness of efficiently solving human challenges. As well, I have always loved the US Pavilion, Expo ’67.

Peter S.

Fuller was undoubtedly brilliant, but I'm with J on this one.

His efforts to heighten society's awareness of larger environmental issues, his embrace of a wider field of view than any one discipline, these are certainly to be lauded. But his pursuit of efficiency and innovation didn't produce a single design *I* would want to see built, much less occupy. In his quest to save humanity he seemed to forget people.

Kirby Urner

Reviewing some local press on this play, includes a link to the above blog post:


Thanks for the analysis.


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