Architecting The Future: Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome and Dymaxion

By | November 29th, 2011 | 7 Comments

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.

Buckminster Fuller's Fly's Eye Dome

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.

Fly's Eye Dome and Dymaxion

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.

Architecting The Future Exhibition Space

To learn more about Architecting The Future, visit the Design Miami website.

Follow Beached Miami on Twitter (@beachedmiami) and Facebook and email and RSS.


7 Comments on “Architecting The Future: Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome and Dymaxion”

  1. 1 swampthing said at 9:23 am on November 29th, 2011:

    Bucky would be proud of this post but disappointed with the world today.

    also visit Home of the TrimTabs
    http://swampspace.blogspot.com/2011/11/bucky-stops-here.html

  2. 2 Jordan Melnick said at 10:20 am on November 29th, 2011:

    “Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.

    “It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.

    “So I said, call me Trim Tab.”

    —Buckminster Fuller

  3. 3 mira lehr said at 9:09 pm on November 29th, 2011:

    I worked with Bucky on the 1st World Game scenario at the NY Studio School in 1969. It was at the same time the astronauts had landed on the moon and Bucky thought it was meaningful that we were all seeing the whole earth for the first time.

    Bucky thought all human beings were meant to be a success on this planet and wanted to help provide the tools for us to operate the world more efficiently. He believed that then we would understand there was enough to go around and that we would get rid of fear and greed and realize that the scarcity syndrome was obsolete. He was a great optimist and I miss him!!

  4. 4 Uncle Ash said at 10:59 pm on November 29th, 2011:

    … more?
    http://www.ashandburn.com/main/?p=4681

  5. 5 Skip Van Cel said at 8:44 am on November 30th, 2011:

    Fuller’s “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,” has me completely obsessed. However, when I inquired as to how I could obtain one, I was informed that there are only 2 in the world, and that buying his “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,”is not possible. Fuller’s “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,” has become a precious, fragile shadow of Fuller’s original intent. Still, I am obsessed, no matter how much the “people” in charge pervert Fuller’s original intent.

  6. 6 Skip Van Cel said at 7:47 am on December 1st, 2011:

    Fuller’s “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,” has me completely obsessed. However, when I inquired as to how I could obtain one, I was informed that there are only 2 in the world, and that buying his “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,”is not possible. Fuller’s “low cost, off the grid, autonomous dwelling machine,” has become a precious, fragile shadow of Fuller’s original intent. Still, I am obsessed, no matter how much the those in charge of Fuller’s work pervert his original intent.

  7. 7 BigTimeJones said at 12:55 pm on December 1st, 2011:

    I think there is one geodesic dome home still standing near Baptist Hospital.


Leave a Reply