TJCAIA News Blog

My Summer Vacation

Dymaxion House

Dymaxion House

Do you remember returning to school in the fall and being asked by your teacher to write an essay on “What I did on my summer vacation?” You should not be surprised that I spent some of my vacation time looking at buildings. While attending a family reunion in Michigan, we visited the famous Henry Ford Museum. To my delight, they had assembled a round aluminum house designed by R. Buckminster Fuller. This unique design was Bucky’s attempt to provide mass-produced, affordable housing after World War II. The structure is suspended from a central mast without a perimeter foundation, “like an umbrella” our guide explained, while pointing to a rotating vent on the roof that supplied fresh air. Another curiosity is the one-piece molded bathroom, “similar to what might have been used on a Navy ship at that time.” The museum literature explains that in 1946, disagreements between Fuller and his associates led to the collapse of the company after just two prototypes were built. This exhibit is the only surviving example of the “Dymaxion House, a dwelling machine.”

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