Buckminster Fuller


Buckminster Fuller : biography

July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983


Fuller was awarded 28 United States patents and many honorary doctorates. In 1960, he was awarded the Frank P. Brown Medal from The Franklin Institute. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1968. In 1970 he received the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects. He also received numerous other awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to him on February 23, 1983 by President Ronald Reagan.

Last filmed appearance

Fuller’s last filmed interview took place on April 3, 1983, in which he presented his analysis of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers as a unique embodiment of the structural principles found in nature. Portions of this interview appear in I Build the Tower, a documentary film on Rodia’s architectural masterpiece.


Fuller died on July 1, 1983, 11 days before his 88th birthday. During the period leading up to his death, his wife had been lying comatose in a Los Angeles hospital, dying of cancer. It was while visiting her there that he exclaimed, at a certain point: "She is squeezing my hand!" He then stood up, suffered a heart attack, and died an hour later, at age 87. His wife of 66 years died 36 hours later. They are buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Concepts and buildings

His concepts and buildings include:

  • Dymaxion house (1928)
  • Aerodynamic Dymaxion car (1933)
  • Prefabricated compact bathroom cell (1937)
  • Dymaxion Deployment Unit (1940)
  • Dymaxion Map of the world (1946)
  • Buildings (1943)
  • Tensegrity structures (1949)
  • Geodesic dome for Ford Motor Company (1953)
  • Patent on geodesic domes (1954)
  • The World Game (1961) and the World Game Institute (1972)
  • Patent on octet truss (1961)
  • Montreal Biosph√®re (1967), United States pavilion at Expo 67
  • Comprehensive Anticipatory Design ScienceSalsbury, Patrick G. (2000) Miqel.com Buckminster Fuller Institute