FOR years R. (for Richard) Buckminster Fuller has been the gadfly, delight and despair of the technological world. Beginning with a design for a ten-story apartment house that he hoped would be dropped from a Zeppelin on the North Pole, he designed projects ranging from a house that was hung from a duralumin mast to bathrooms with no running water (only an air hose squirting 90% air, 10% water, no soap needed). Among his other Dymaxion ("dynamic" plus "maximum service") products have been a three-wheel, rear-engined automobile and a house that can be...

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