Bucky in Biloxi

In 1958 the ninth annual conference of the Gulf States Region of American Institute of Architects was held in Biloxi. It had several big names planned as speakers including Dr. Wernher Von Braun (who ended up not being able to attend) and designer, author, inventor, architect, and stamp subject, R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller.  While famous in 1958 for his Dymaxion houses, he is primarily known today for the invention of the geodesic dome.  Fuller’s own “Dome Home” in Carbondale, Il. at Southern Illinois University, where he was a Professor in the Design Department  from 1959 to 1972, was recently restored.

A. E. Wood Colliseum Mississippi College Clinton, Hinds County. Bing Maps image created c.2012 accessed 4-15-2014

Wood Coliseum at Mississippi College is an example of a large Geodesic Dome. A. E. Wood Coliseum Mississippi College Clinton, Hinds County. Bing Maps image created c.2012 accessed 4-15-2014

The statements made in Fullers’ Biloxi lecture may sound almost antiquated today, but in 1958 they surely seemed out of reach.

Architect Plans City Of Future, Moon Structures

R. Buckminster Fuller, New York City, research architect and designer of the future, told the ninth annual conference of the Gulf States Region of American Institute of Architects that he is planning structures for use on the moon.

Speaking on the opening day of the three-day session at the Buena Vista Hotel, Biloxi, Fuller also spoke of large architectural research teams of the future, capable of installing a whole city anywhere in the world in a day’s time and just as readily disassembling it.

Fuller said he began some 25 years ago to design and engineer dome-shaped structures which are now being used many places in the world including the World’s Fair, trade fairs, the arctic and antarctic regions.

When travel to the moon is a reality, Fuller will be prepared to send his lightweight, compactible structures there to be erected into a colony of spherical-type structures, he indicated.

Fuller said he specializes in designing and engineering buildings to answer the needs of man in the future, anticipating them as far ahead as possible.

There is a terrific challenge to architects in the new era because today’s architects have survived in the economic plan by waiting for a patron to tell them what to do, but in the future, architects will become design scientists prescribing for the external organics of man much as a doctor diagnoses and treats the internal organics, Fuller stated.

He said just as a patient does not know how to tell a doctor to treat him, man does not now how to solve his architectural needs.  Fuller emphasized the air-deliverable quality of his structural, clear-space (without center support) domes which are designed of materials such as aluminum, plastic, magnesium and steel, according to the purpose of the building.

The Daily Herald October 6, 1958



Categories: Architectural Research, Biloxi

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4 replies

  1. Now this is an information-filled morning start! Everyone needs to be sure to click all the links–to think I have spent years on re-building the bathrooms in this little ranch, and could have just inserted RBF’s compact little unit and have been done with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He was in the Gulf South with some frequency during the 50s. In 54, he was visiting critic at Tulane’s School of Architecture, and directed the students to develop a geodesic hangar model. In ’58 his Union Tank Car Dome was built in Alsen, Louisiana. http://modelrailroaddesign.blogspot.com/2012/07/union-tank-car-dome.html

    Liked by 1 person

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