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Dymaxion: could homes be as affordable & precise as appliances?

Supported by tension cables around a central mast, the Dymaxion House was a light-weight, prefab home designed to be flat-packed and shipped worldwide in a metal tube. Drawn up by Buckminster Fuller in the 1920s, he finally built the prototype in 1945 working with Beech Aircraft to take advantage of materials like aluminum and labor primed for WWII production.

Fuller coined the “Dymaxion” term by combining “dy” (dynamic), “max” (maximum), and “ion”(tension) and created both a home and car around the concept. Built of light-weight materials- aluminum and plexiglass-, the home weighed only 3000 pounds, but could withstand winds of 120 miles per hour and was earthquake and stormproof. It required no maintenance and could be heated and cooled by natural ventilation (a rotating vent on the roof circulated air through the home every 6 minutes).

Fuller patented the “Dymaxion Bathroom” – a shower that required only one cup of hot water, and a toilet that consumed no water at all. O-Volving Shelves required no bending; rotating closets brought the clothes to you. The floorplan and room sizes could be adjusted for parties.

The dismountable home was priced at $6,500 which was not much more than the median home price of $5,000 (50% of which came only with an outhouse). It was never mass produced, but the ideas behind it remain cutting-edge even today.

Watch the walk thru by Nicolás Boullosa.