October 27, 2009

100-ft Spheres In The Center? On Buckminster Fuller's Original Expo 67 Pavilion

From the Other Things I Didn't Know About What Goes Inside Geodesic Dome Pavilions Department:

Christine Macy and Sarah Bonnemaison devote a chapter in their 2003 book, Architecture and nature: creating the American landscape to geodesic domes, including this description of Buckminster Fuller's original vision for the US Pavilion at Montreal's World Expo 67:

His [Fuller's] design of 1964 featured a dome nearly twice the size [of the 250-ft diameter, 3/4 dome by Fuller and Shoji Sadao that was realized] with a massive interior gallery. From this elevated vantage point, the viewer would focuse their attention inward to a hundred foot diameter Earth tranforming slowly into an icosahedron, before it opens up, unfolding like a flower as it descends to the floor. [what a sentence. -ed.] In this way, Fuller's "geodesic" globe transforms into his "Dymaxion" map of the Earth before the visitors' eyes, displaying the "one world island in one world ocean." And then it would come to life. Wired with tens of thousands of miniature light bulbs, this great map would begin to pulsate with patterns--showing world resources, electricity generation, the flow of transportation and communication systems across the Earth. This interactive display, this giant bio-feedback device, would be the playing surface of the "World Game." Assembling in teams or playing by themselves, visitors were intended to chart out optimal paths to link resources with industries and population centers, to streamline transportation flows and maximize satellite coverage The aim, according to Fuller, was to "make the world work successfully for all of humanity...without anyone gaining advantage at the expense of another."
Since he had not actually been asked to design the exhibit, just the pavilion, this idea was rejected and replaced by a selection of quilts, duck decoys, and Cary Grand billboards.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

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first published: October 27, 2009.

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