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PRINT November 2008

MICHAEL WANG

 Jean-Gilles Décosterd and Philippe Rahm, Hormonorium, 2002, mixed media. Installation view, Swiss pavilion, Venice. From the 8th Venice Architecture Biennale. Photo: Niklaus Stauss.

IT WAS IN 1943 that R. Buckminster Fuller made his famous announcement that during the preceding two years he had slept for an average of two hours a day, napping for thirty minutes at six-hour intervals. This “Dymaxion Sleep,” as he called it, followed the Dymaxion House, the Dymaxion Car, and the Dymaxion Map. For Fuller, whose global enterprise relied on the utopian logic that design might intervene consistently across any scale, the body itself was a “complex pattern integrity”—a reproducible structure rather than a physical entity. Obliterating the line between architecture and the human organism, Dymaxion Sleep mapped Fuller’s maxim of “doing more with less” onto the body.

Fuller coined the term ephemeralization to describe the trend toward ever-lighter construction and ever-more efficient use of resources. It promised structures of incredible volume produced with a

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