Charlie Stross on Buckminster Fuller: “Why are your houses so heavy?”

Dymaxian House

The story of why we aren’t all living in Dymaxion houses today is a convoluted epic of business failure (for one thing, starting up a production line for houses using cutting-edge aerospace technology was something that had never been done before; for another, Bucky’s business sense was not, sadly, as good as his design sense) that has been recounted in numerous biographies. What interests me about it is that it’s a far more humane approach to the problem of providing housing for the masses than his Brutalist contemporaries, whose designs tended to be fixed, immovable, made cheaply out of low-end materials, and built with high density mass housing in mind rather than low impact customizability. It was also way ahead of the field in terms of awareness of environmental constraints; while we could design better today, we’d be making incremental tweaks, whereas Bucky came up with the original idea of modular, lightweight, mobile low-impact housing ab initio.

Charlie Stross: “Why are your houses so heavy?”


  1. Michael Sargalis

    January 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Mikolis from Upstate New York. I like it. I want one. I would like to expand on it.
    I am learning Sustainable Design through Computer Assisted Drawing and Design/CADD at ITT-Tech in Albany, NY. I like the idea that its portable. I like it that it can be moved to face any direction. I want to go inside one and see what it would be like. I wonder if anyone has come up with something similiar? Let’s keep this concept growing. Mikolis

  2. Michael Sargalis

    January 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    This is the way of the future. How is it powered? How is it maintained? Is it self sufficient? If not, why not?
    Who is working on this now? Did the idea …die?

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