Susan G Boggs


Buckminster Fuller wore many hats: he was an architect, designer, inventor, futurist and a lot more. Published more than thirty books and developed many inventions and designs of architecture. He popularized the Geodesic Dome. He is known to have served as the President of Mensa- the Largest high IQ society in the world.

Geodesic Dome

The Geodesic Dome was first designed by Walther Bauersfeld for a planetarium. Years later, Buckminster was the one that coined the term ‘Geodesic’. Although he did not invent it, since he was the one that popularized the idea, he received praise and patent. He built the world’s oldest surviving dome in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Materials for the construction of the Dome

The dome fascinated Fuller, as it was very strong for its weight. The triangularly symmetrical design of the dome provided the dome with a stable structure. The architects have used many different combinations of materials to construct the Geodesic dome. The hub and strut type of dome was made with wooden struts. The triangular plywood pieces are nailed to the struts, and steel hubs are used to put these hubs together. By stapling plastic sheets together, the making of make-shift greenhouse domes was possible. Steel framework can be used to construct domes for jungle gyms. The lightweight aluminium framework is also used to construct domes.

The concept


Buckminster believed that a triangular usage for a structure would be better than using a rectangle. He said that the rectangle would not be able to withstand the pressure, whereas the triangle is much more rigid. His ideas were to do more with less, and this led to creating a spherical structure with triangles and resulted in the dome with unparalleled strength.

Sense of the structure

The idea enabled to having a spacious interior space and lesser surface area. This way, they could cut down construction costs and save a lot of money. The dome created a very coherent atmosphere for the interiors as it allowed circulation of air and light without an obstruction. The airflow is even throughout the dome. It is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and high winds too.

Sense of the structure

Buckminster Fuller’s contribution

In 1954, Fuller displayed his cardboard dome for the first time and received acceptance by the architectural community. Fuller aimed to utilize the earth’s finite resources to benefit humankind, but at the same time, he did not want to disrupt the ecosystem either. It gained popularity, and the Us military also was looking into using the Domes for their military projects. Thanks to Buckminster Fuller, the Geodesic Dome received the attention and exposure it deserved. He again reinvented the Dome by increasing the diameter, so the volume of the dome also increased. The Geodesic Dome ideas have influenced many structures of the day.

A Better Place is a sound installation and performance piece that posits a fictional conversation between two of the 20th Century’s better-known aspirational thinkers, John Cage and R. Buckminster Fuller. The basic sound materials used are recordings of each man’s voice: Fuller’s lectures on the World Game at Southern Illinois University in 1966, and Cage reading from his text “Diary: How to Improve the World (You’ll Only Make Matters Worse)”. Of this latter text, Cage said, “I began the Diary optimistically in 1965 to celebrate the work of R. Buckminster Fuller, his concern for human needs and world resources, his comprehensive scientific designs for making life on earth an unequivocal success, his insistence that problem solving be continuously regenerative …” Instead of creating a literal dialogue, the pitches and rhythms of the simultaneously spoken words form interference patterns that organize and disperse in a variety of sonic structures.

The City of Carbondale has recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the RBF Dome NFP. Mayor Joel Fritzler stated, “The Carbondale City Council is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of our historic downtown and neighborhoods. The Fuller Dome is right in the middle of our historic district so, it is a vital part of our community. The restoration of Dr. Fuller’s home is important not only for the preservation of Carbondale’s history, but also for attracting out-of-town visitors to the Southern Illinois region.”

Fritzler points out that over the first three years following completion of preservation and establishing The Fuller Dome as a home museum, interpretive arts gallery and events center, the site is expected to generate over $5 million in local economic activity, an estimated additional $252,724 in state taxes, and $130,248 in local taxes. “One of the few growth industries in the U.S. in our current economy is heritage tourism…an industry that is growing at a rate of 10% per year…involved in 46% of all the trips that U.S. residents take beyond 50 miles from home.”

In February of 2011 The Fuller Dome was selected as recipient of the highly competitive Save America’s Treasures grant. This $125,000 matching grant directly supports preservation efforts and means all donations received by the Fuller Dome are doubled in value! Every dollar you donate is matched by the grant.

Under the original grant guidelines, the Fuller Dome restoration was to be completed by the end of 2012. RBF Dome NFP has been given an extension of this deadline until the end of 2013, and work is scheduled to begin this Spring. Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way toward assuring our success, building Bucky’s legacy, saving his home, and preserving his most acclaimed artifact. Help us bring Bucky home by contributing today.

Checks and payments can be made to The Fuller Dome or RBF Dome NFP. Each donation of $100 underwrites one small triangle of the dome and may be purchased in multiples to grow your triangle. Any amount is welcome, appreciated and tremendously helpful

There are many advantages and disadvantages to constructing a Geodesic Dome Home, and we decided to share a few of them. In the column of benefits, you need to know that these domes are energy efficient, strong, and thus resists natural elements like wind and snow. On the other hand, they also have disadvantages, and you will be faced with numerous challenges resulting in the placement of chimneys, massive costs due to the installation of a fire escape, and at last, you will also find it challenging to create a division between rooms because the structure doesn’t support the same.