The Dymaxion

Bucky Fuller's Revolutionary Car

Buckminster Fuller, the visionary American architect, industrial designer and inventor, designed the Dymaxion in 1933. Ahead of its time, the Dymaxion exhibited forward-thinking optimism. Shaped like a zeppelin, the Dymaxion featured an aerodynamic body spanning nearly twenty feet in length and only three wheels. It traveled at speeds up to 90 miles per hour and was astoundingly gas efficient.

Fuller first began sketching the Dymaxion in 1927, but it wasn’t until 1933, when his drawings at the New York Auto Show captured the attention of an investor, that his car would become a reality. That year he teamed with William Starling Burgess, a celebrated aviator and engineer, to form the 4D Dymaxion Corporation. Between 1933 and 1935, Fuller and the 4D Company would complete three working prototypes of the vehicle: Dymaxion Car #1, Dymaxion Car #2 and Dymaxion Car #3. Today only Dymaxion Car #2 survives; it is currently being restored by the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.

R. Buckminster Fuller 1895–1983

Architect, designer, inventor, geometrician, educator—Richard Buckminster ‘Bucky’ Fuller was a global forward-thinker and accomplished individual. Over the course of his career, he strove to improve the quality of human life through efficient design principles or as he described, “doing more with less.”

He was born in 1895 to a distinguished New England family known to be non-conformists. Fuller never received a formal education and was dismissed from Harvard University twice. It was during his time in the U.S. Navy that his aptitude for engineering soared. He invented a device that sped the recovery time of downed airplanes presenting him the opportunity for officer training at the U.S. Naval Academy. There he developed a new method of reinforcing concrete buildings, the first of his 28 patents, a concept that helped him realize his calling to serve humanity through inventive, sustainable housing. In 1927, Fuller invented the Dymaxion House, a modular apartment building, which could be easily built at low-cost and airlifted to its location. Following this pioneering design, he created a series of streamlined inventions from cars to bathrooms.

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