the magic number…
The Dymaxion Car was ,
“So visually seductive that you want to own it, to have the voluptuous physicality of it in your garage.”
Three-quarters of a century after the last of the original models, Car #3, rolled off the production line, a new Dymaxion Car has been created, Car #4. Based on the drawings of Car #3 and painstaking analysis of Car #2, it was built in the English countryside in the East Sussex workshops of Crosthwaite & Gardiner, which specializes in restoring 1930s racing cars. The new car was commissioned by Norman Foster.
The quote above, also by Mr. Foster, describes a personal love affair with both the Dymaxion Car, and with R. Buckminster Fuller. The affair is one uncommon in today’s age of the digital moment. Dymaxion Car#4 was constructed in a time span of two years. The uncommon nature of the affair involves Nostalgia. In all the materials printed on Mr. Fuller and his wildly exaggerated feats, was Nostalgia ever part of his bag of tricks?
A fuel-efficient vehicle was the goal for any Fuller model of the Dymaxion Car. A vehicle capable of 35 miles to a gallon, twice the standard when the Dymaxion Car debuted in 1933. Mr. Foster’s deep pockets provide for the re-creation of physical form only for beauty’s sake.
“Beauty only refers to itself.” Roland Barthes
Mr. Foster has done an excellent job on more than one front. In combination with the development of Dymaxion Car#4, is the accompanying book, Buckminster Fuller. Dymaxion Car published by Ivorypress. Ivorypress is owned by Mr. Foster’s wife, Elena Ochoa Foster. The Dymaxion Car#4 in on display through Oct. 30 at the Ivorypress Art + Books gallery in Madrid. Considering the Ivorypress book documenting the process of analysis & construction is priced at approximately $120.00 a copy, the Foster’s profit margin will be achieved quickly.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Now in its fourth year the Buckminster Fuller Challenge has been called “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.” The model set forth by Mr. Foster & partners in the Dymaxion Car#4 project is one which design students need to approach with extreme caution. The exclusive nature, rather than inclusive nature of humanity is the exact opposite message students & professionasl need in this financial climate from Mr. Foster’s pet project.
Bucky Fuller’s legacy will live on in the mission of the Challenge named after him. Buckminster Fuller Challenge “Solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world’s complex problems.”
The names Fuller and Foster begin with the same letter…that is all they will ever have in common.
In recent history, there have been other three wheeled cars re-built for different reasons.
on Saturday April 23rd 2004…
Leonardo da Vinci was yesterday credited with anticipating the car when a model of one of his drawings was hailed as the first self-propelling vehicle conceived. The wooden 5ft by 5ft 6in model, featured in an exhibition at Florence’s Science History Museum, is driven by springs. It is also the first projected vehicle with programmable steering.
While the drawings of the car, made in 1478, have long been known to scholars, understanding how it worked has been an enduring mystery.
The model presented yesterday took seven years to make, after Prof Pedretti identified drawings of coiled springs concealed in drums beneath the car as its most likely source of power “It’s a very sophisticated device,” Prof Pedretti, the director of the Armand Hammer Centre of Leonardo Studies in Los Angeles.