Buckminster Fuller: The Big Thinker

A new show about Buckminster Fuller, a visionary whose reach sometimes exceeded his grasp

Courtesy Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

The U.S. pavilion at the Montreal World's Fair.

When I hauled my teenage self up to the 1967 World's Fair in Montreal, what I wanted most to see was the giant geodesic dome--actually more like a huge, transparent sphere--that Buckminster Fuller, the famous advance man for the future, had designed to serve as the U.S. pavilion. Once you got inside, there wasn't much to look at, but that didn't matter. The dome itself was the thing, a smashing image of the U.S. claim on tomorrow.

Now, 41 years on, when that claim is a bubble looking ready to burst, Fuller's reputation has deflated a bit too. Geodesic domes are...

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