Buckminster Fuller, Cloud Structures, 1962.
Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist.
Fuller published more than 30 books, inventing and popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetic. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, the best known of which is the geodesic dome.
Fuller taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina during the summers of 1948 and 1949, serving as its Summer Institute director in 1949. There, with the support of a group of professors and students, he began reinventing a project that would make him famous: the geodesic dome. Although the geodesic dome had been created some 30 years earlier by Dr. Walther Bauersfeld, Fuller was awarded United States patents. He is credited for popularizing this type of structure.
Fuller was a pioneer in thinking globally, and he explored principles of energy and material efficiency in the fields of architecture, engineering and design
Fuller documented his life copiously from 1915 to 1983, approximately 270 feet (82 m) of papers in a collection called the Dymaxion Chronofile
As well as contributing significantly to the development of tensegrity technology, Fuller invented the term "tensegrity" from tensional integrity. "Tensegrity describes a structural-relationship principle in which structural shape is guaranteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviors of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compressional member behaviors. Tensegrity provides the ability to yield increasingly without ultimately breaking or coming asunder."
Partially inspired by the incipient space program, the utopian architecture of the 1960s yielded visions of floating communities hovering among the clouds. Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao created such a concept, entitled “Project for Floating Cloud Structures (Cloud Nine) in 1960.” Fuller’s imaginary floating sphere-enclosed cities are given a sense of feasibility through technical explanations that would seem to render them possible. The visionary architect drafted plans in the early sixties for spheres that would hover above the earth and hold several thousand “passengers.”