Arch + Eng, Art, Design, Education

Buckminster Fuller made fancy posters for his greatest inventions

The architect created the series of prints in the 1980s—now they’re on show and for sale

Throughout his career, the architect and engineer Buckminster Fuller worked to bring his wild ideas to the public. Some, like his utopian vision for Harlem, never came to fruition. Others, like his geodesic domes, have popped up in various forms around the world.

Screen print of round house

Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion Dwelling House-Witchata House, From Inventions Portfolio, 1981 Edward Cella Art & Architecture.
Many of his inventions got a real-world prototype, and all of them were the product of detailed line drawings that served as blueprints for his big ideas. In a new exhibition at the Edward Cella Art & Architecture gallery in Los Angeles, we can see how Fuller brought those two things together through a series of self-promotional posters he crafted near the end of his career with the help of Carl Solway Gallery.

Screenprint of Dymaxion Car

R. Buckmister Fuller (1895-1983), Dymaxion Car, From Inventions Portfolio, 1981 Edward Cella Art & Architecture
The posters feature a photo of a Fuller invention—the Dymaxion Car, Geodesic Dome, and a Tensile-Integrity Structure, for example—overlaid with an illustration of the concept. The blueprint illustrations are screen printed in white ink on a clear polyester film that can sit atop the photograph of the project, creating a multi-layered print that promotes the visions in a striking way.

Screen print of structure with blueprint overlay

Buckmister Fuller, Synergetic Building Construction – Octetruss, From Inventions Portfolio, 1981. Edward Cella Art & Architecture
That Fuller created these himself is notable. You can imagine that it was a way to prove that his ideas, as wild and structurally complicated as they might seem, were in some cases realized—and often to his original specifications.

The show will run from September 8 to November 3, during which the posters are available to purchase at $7,000 a piece.

Original article on Curbed