50 foot dome by Cascade Domes and Shelters

The first contemporary geodesic dome on record is Walter Bauersfeld’s, who realized the utility of projecting the constellations on the inner surface of an icosasphere, Omnimax-style, thereby creating a breakthrough planetarium in Jena, Germany, in 1922.

Fuller derived his geodesic dome from general principles independently of Bauresfeld, just as he derived the octet truss without knowing of Alexander Graham Bell’s implementation of this same naturally occuring phenomenon.

Fuller’s geodesic spheres and domes emerged synergetically from his philosophical “explorations in the geometry of thinking“. In this self-discipline, the variably frequenced icosasphere links up with the jitterbug and sphere packing concepts (see dome geometry).


The spherical high frequency icosahedron also suggests a grid of triangles which may be used to transfer global data from a sphere to an unfoldable icosahedron (another concept that would have excited Bauersfeld). The geodesic dome and the Fuller Projection both derive from the same general principles.For further reading



Fuller aniticipated that domes, along with other alternative dwelling designs, would likely become artifacts within a new World Livingry Service Industry. Economies of scale would give people affordable housing options, along with ways to seamlessly connect with multimedia-based work-study telecommunication systems. The new dwelling machines would deploy alongside more traditional neighborhood structures and different cultures would customize them to integrate with local designs and routines.

Some models would feature a very high degree of energy autonomy, and their deployment in remote areas would be without lasting disruption of the ecosystem — a supporting tripod would make it unecessary to pour concrete, and helicopter delivery and pickup would keep construction crews and equipment from despoiling the landscape.

Here’s a video of me (Kirby) talking about more recent history. The clip is from 2003 (which is also when I did the editing), whereas I made it available as a Google live video in 2005 (November).

For further reading

Leave a Reply