If you’ve passed through the Design District in the last week, you probably noticed a seemingly alien spacecraft in an open field at 39th Street and First Court. If not, here it is.
Dubbed the Fly’s Eye Dome, the geodesic structure is not from outer space but from the mental cosmos of one Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), a self-described “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist”. Conceived of as a “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,” according to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, the Fly’s Eye Dome was part of Fuller’s mission to “solve global problems surrounding housing, shelter, transportation, education, energy, ecological destruction, and poverty.”
The installation is part of a Design Miami satellite exhibition called Architecting the Future, which also features the Dymaxion 4, an “omni-directional, jump-jet transport system” — for short: a car — that Fuller invented and British architect Norman Foster later reconstructed. Here it is parked in front of the Fly’s Eye Dome.
On Wednesday, at Design Miami’s South Beach HQ (nearby the mother of all fairs, Art Basel Miami Beach), Foster will take part in “Modern Utopia”, a discussion about Fuller’s influence on Foster’s life and work and his enduring impact on design in general. Amazing Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson may also be there — the BFI says he will be, but Design Miami’s website doesn’t mention him. Either way, hearing Lord Foster, the man behind the sublime Millau Viaduct, discuss Fuller’s otherworldly genius should be a treat.
Whether or not you make it to the Foster talk, you should definitely stop by the Design District installation, which complements the Fly’s Eye Dome and the Dymaxion with an exhibition, housed in two shipping crates on the grounds, of Fuller’s design drawings and photographs of the construction of the 24-foot dome.
To learn more about Architecting The Future, visit the Design Miami website.