Themed Book Lists

10 Books Featuring Buckminster Fuller

July 2, 2014

Most popularly known for his Geodesic Dome, visionary, inventor, environmentalist, and prolific author R. Buckminster—“Bucky”— Fuller (1895–1983) was born in July. Here are 10 books by or featuring Fuller that have been chosen by our contributing designers, publishers, and booksellers. The Buckminster Fuller Institute also provides a list of Books by Fuller and Books about Fuller.

Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi: Best of Friends Shoji Sadao
Designed by Tomoko Miho

From the Publisher. Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi is an informal, personal biography of the friendship between two extraordinary men. The author, Shoji Sadao, who was friend and partner to both Fuller and Noguchi, chronicles the deep and abiding respect, affection, and support they offered each other. Discussed are Fuller's development of his Dymaxion Map, Geodesic geometry, and Dymaxion Car, and Noguchi's multifaceted career as sculptor, landscape architect, industrial designer, and dance set designer-as an artist without borders who challenged the artificial opposition between the fine and applied arts. Influences on Fuller and Noguchi's work are explored, significant projects are described and illustrated, and pertinent quotations are cited-all contributing to a warm and intimate narrative that documents the relationship between these two great 20th-century artists.

Buckminster Fuller’s Universe Lloyd Steven Sieden

From the Publisher. Buckminster Fuller, the brilliant and eccentric futurist philosopher best known as the inventor of the Geodesic Dome, was one of the most creative contributors to innovative thought and technology in the twentieth century. Incomparable designer, engineer, and architect, he proved that a lone genius, through sheer initiative, can have an astounding impact on the world. In this inspiring account of Fuller's life and legacy, Lloyd Steven Sieden brings new light to Fuller's belief system and recognizes his many contributions to humanity.

Critical Path R. Buckminster Fuller

From the Publisher. R. Buckminster Fuller is regarded as one of the most important figures of the 20th century, renowned for his achievements as an inventor, designer, architect, philosopher, mathematician, and dogged individualist. Perhaps best remembered for the Geodesic Dome and the term “Spaceship Earth,” his work and his writings have had a profound impact on modern life and thought. Critical Path is Fuller's master work—the summing up of a lifetime's thought and concern—as urgent and relevant as it was upon its first publication in 1981. Critical Path details how humanity found itself in its current situation--at the limits of the planet's natural resources and facing political, economic, environmental, and ethical crises. The crowning achievement of an extraordinary career, Critical Path offers the reader the excitement of understanding the essential dilemmas of our time and how responsible citizens can rise to meet this ultimate challenge to our future.

Fuller Houses Federico Neder
Preface by Mark Wigley

From the Publisher. With the publication of the Dymaxion House in 1929, Buckminster Fuller became an overnight sensation in the world of American architecture. It was an uncompromising design and spectacularly novel. The living areas were hexagonal and attached around a central supply tower, and the multistory interior was fully climate-controlled. The house was conceived as completely self-sufficient – all the necessary supply modules were contained in the tower. The rooms were equipped with the most modern furnishings and fixtures. The approximately 150 m2 house weighed just 3 tons, cost no more than a car, and was designed to be constructed and dismantled anytime and anywhere. The house reflected Fuller’s basic technological principle, his determination toachieve the greatest possible utility at the smallest possible cost in terms of energy and materials by making use of everything that science and technology have to offer. The author examines and compares Fuller’s Dymaxion House in the context of the international development.

Home Delivery Barry Bergdoll
Peter Christensen

From the Publisher. Today, with the digital revolution reorganizing the relationship between the drafting board and the factory, prefabrication continues to spur innovative manufacturing and imaginative design, and its potential is not yet fulfilled. But the mass-produced, factory-made home has had a distinguished history, serving as a vital precept in the development of modern architecture. Home Delivery traces this history, from its early roots in colonial cottages to the work of such figures as Thomas Edison, Marcel Breuer, Jean Prouvé, and Buckminster Fuller, and concludes in the present-day with a group of contemporary houses commissioned specifically for the MoMA exhibition that this book accompanies.

I Seem To Be a Verb R. Buckminster Fuller
Designed by Quentin Fiore
Produced by Jerome Agel

Illustrates Buckminster Fuller’s eclectic point of view of how advances in technology can better serve our world and humankind.

Nine Chains to the Moon R. Buckminster Fuller

“The title refers to the observation that, when the book was written, the world population of humans (Fuller calls them ‘earthians’), if stood one atop another, could form chains that would reach back and forth between Earth and the Moon nine times. The book presents Fuller's overview of technological history. It proposes the author's vision of future prosperity driven by ephemeralization, Fuller's term for the process of doing more with less. Fuller's believed that this would lead to ever-increasing standards of living and ever-growing population despite finite resources. Fuller uses Henry Ford's assembly line as an example of how ephemeralization can lead to better products at lower cost with no upper bound on productivity.” (Wikipedia)

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth R. Buckminster Fuller

Cited by architect Norman Foster:

One of Fuller’s most popular works, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth is a brilliant synthesis of his world view. In this very accessible volume, Fuller investigates the great challenges facing humanity. How will humanity survive? How does automation influence individualization? How can we utilize our resources more effectively to realize our potential to end poverty in this generation? He questions the concept of specialization, calls for a design revolution of innovation, and offers advice on how to guide “spaceship earth” toward a sustainable future.

Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture Ulrich Conrads

From the Publisher. The present volume offers eloquent testimony that many of the master builders of this century have held passionate convictions regarding the philosophic and social basis of their art. Nearly every important development in the modern architectural movement began with the proclamation of these convictions in the form of a program or manifesto. The most influential of these are collected here in chronological order from 1903 to 1963. Taken together, they constitute a subjective history of modern architecture; compared with one another, their great diversity of style reveals in many cases the basic differences of attitude and temperament that produced a corresponding divergence in architectural style. In point of view, the book covers the aesthetic spectrum from right to left; from programs that rigidly generate designs down to the smallest detail to revolutionary manifestoes that call for anarchy in building form and town plan. The documents, placed in context by the editor, are also international in their range: among them are the seminal and prophetic statements of Henry van de Velde, Adolf Loos, and Bruno Taut from the early years of the century; Frank Lloyd Wright's 1910 annunciation of Organic Architecture; Gropius's original program for the Bauhaus, founded in Weimar in 1919; "Towards a New Architecture, Guiding Principles" by Le Corbusier; the formulation by Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner of the basic principles of Constructivism; and articles by R. Buckminster Fuller on universal architecture and the architect as world planner. Other pronouncements, some in flamboyant style, including those of Erich Mendelsohn, Hannes Meyer, Theo van Doesburg, Oskar Schlemmer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, El Lissitzky, and Louis I. Kahn. There are also a number of collective or group statements, issued in the name of movements such as CIAM, De Stijl, ABC, the Situationists, and GEAM.

Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller Claude Lichtenstein
Joachim Krausse

From the Publisher. "Bucky" was one of the most revolutionary technological visionaries of this century. As an architect, engineer, entrepreneur, poet, he was a quintessentially American, self-made man. But he was also an out-sider: a technologist with a poet's imagination who already developed theories of environmental control in the thirties ("more with less") and anticipated the globalization of our planet ("think global - act local"). This visual reader documents and examines Fuller's theories, ideas, designs, and projects. It also takes an analytical look at his ideology of technology as the panacea.

With numerous illustrations, many published here for the first time, as well as texts by Fuller and the editors.

The publication presents Buckminster Fuller's creations as a dazzling expression of this unconditionally optimistic technocrat whose vision of driverless Spaceship Earth led him to examine the principles of maximizing effects in the most diverse sectors of design and construction.

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