Professional and Career Topics

  • 1.  Buckminster Fuller's Engineering Contributions

    Posted 11-22-2021 10:08 AM
    Buckminster Fuller was a generalist and did not quite fit the titles that we think of as an architect, engineer, inventor, mathematician, or scientist.  As I have begun reading about him, it seems that his work is not entirely considered in academic circles, despite his lecture tours.  My understanding is that his writing style (full of run-ons and made up words), interpretation that his work has socialist undertones, and abandonment of Euclidean geometry made his concepts difficult to integrate with traditional curriculum.  Fuller is best know for his work a a designer and promoter of the geodesic dome as nature's most efficient structure.

    Did you ever meet Fuller or attend one his lectures?  What were his greatest contributions as an engineer and designer?

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    Chad Morrison P.E., F.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
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  • 2.  RE: Buckminster Fuller's Engineering Contributions

    Posted 11-29-2021 07:08 PM

    When I was a 2nd year freshman(!), I started Cal Poly in 1951 in the Architectural Engineering program.  As part of the freshman class one Saturday, we assembled the first geodesic dome on the west coast.  The dome was designed and fabricated by five senior students for their senior project.  https://polycanyon.calpoly.edu/history/geodesic-dome. Note that the article dates are different than mine - but I was there.  It was quite an easy assembly. The seniors supplied the pipes, the plates and all of the bolts and the freshman supplied the labor.  The site for this structure was in the Arch lab parking lot. One Saturday night a few years later at about midnight, a bunch of aggies tried to steal the dome. They got one end on the tail gate of a pickup before someone in the Arch lab discovered them and ran them off. That lab is famous for all night engineering and architectural activities. There was always plenty of coffee.

     

    I attended two lectures by Bucky at Poly.  Each time the auditorium was filled and it was one of the most inspiring times for me.  In my senior year, some architectural seniors collaborated with Bucky for a master plan for the city of Seaside, near Monterey. The students had recorded all of his comments and would play then over and over in the lab - to the annoyance of the other students.  Frank Lloyd Wright was still alive at that time and practically the whole arch-engr school listened to him on the radio in the lab. It was startling that he started his talk by saying that all of the architecture schools were bad!

    Neil Moore, PE, SE, Life Member ASCE and IEEE

    neil moore and associates

    shingle springs, california

    50th year

     

     



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    Neil Moore P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    President
    Neil Moore & Assoc
    Shingle Springs CA
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