Friday, April 18, 2014

Raising the Dome

By Kayla Fuller

               As I was wandering the internet for the inspiration for today’s blog piece, I decided to check for things that effected SIU. Why not incorporate some history… So who or what I something that has effected not only SIU but the world? Buckminster Fuller and his Bucky Dome! Maybe the “Raising of the Dome” event this weekend had some inspiration for my topic.
                During my first few years at SIU, people would ask me if we were related. As exciting as it would be to have such an influential relative, unfortunately we are not related…. But how cool would that be?!?
A little history of the renowned inventor and visionary R. Buckminster Fuller, born in Milton, Massachusetts on July 12, 1895. His family was known for producing individuals with strong potential and determination of providing public service. Shortly after entering Harvard University in 1913, Fuller was expelled for missing midterm exams and excessive socializing. This was not unusual for many successful individuals, interesting huh? After his expulsion, he went to Canada to begin working in a mill, where his interest grew in machinery and manufacturing equipment.
                Fuller began inventing a winch for rescue boats to save downed airplanes during his time in the U.S. Navy from 1917 until 1919. His invention resulted in his nomination to receive officer training at the Naval Academy. With the help of his father-in-law, Fuller helped to patent the invention of a new method of producing reinforced concrete buildings. This was the first of his soon to be 25 patents that Fuller would earn.
                Improving human housing through technology and revolutionized construction was a lifelong interest of Fuller. After completing his invention of an air-delivered, apartment building, he designed his Dymaxion House. Based on the words “ion,” “dynamic,” and “maximum, the use of “Dymaxion” would become part of his subsequent works. His design philosophy of “doing more with less,” reflected his growing recognition of the accelerating global trend to improve development through efficient technology.
                The geodesic home was the dominating invention of Fuller during his life and career. The easy to assemble, cost-effective, lightweight geodesic dome can be seen in many locations around the world. Fortunately for those of us at Southern Illinois University we take a short ride to visit the former home of Buckminster Fuller.
                There are many instances that I have been traveling and have seen the influence Fuller has had on the world. As unusual as the shape of a dome home may be, it provides structural integrity through the triangles in the frame as well as protection from harsh weather. Areas with high winds and severe weather could benefit the most from a geodesic dome home.
                There are many more inventions of the famous R. Buckminster Fuller that could have been included. With the “Raising of the Dome” and personal influence Fuller had from working at the university, influenced the focus on the geodesic dome home. Although this may not reach you before the event this Saturday, hopefully you will have the opportunity to visit the dome.

                There are only a few more weeks of the semester… I would like to wish you all good luck and to those who are graduating this year, congratulations! 

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