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PRINT November 2008

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: THE LEGACY OF R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER

R. Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion House, Project Plan, ca. 1927, graphite, watercolor, metallic ink on tracing paper, 10 3⁄4 x 10".

A self-proclaimed “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” R. Buckminster Fuller always had his sights fixed firmly on the future—and a quarter century after his death, it is his future we now inhabit. Our present, as architectural historian Sean Keller notes in his overview of Fuller’s career, is not exactly the one that Fuller imagined, but at a time of skyrocketing oil prices, global warming, and tense geopolitics, his prognostications—if not all his design solutions—seem cannier than ever before. Part inventor, part architect, part engineer, and part ecologist, Fuller left us a sprawling inheritance that Artforum assesses here, on the occasion of his current traveling retrospective. In addition to Keller’s survey, architect Thom Mayne, artist Fritz Haeg, and architectural critics Michael Wang, Kevin Pratt, and Helene Furján offer distinctive takes on

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