Domed: A couple of days ago, the USPS issued an R. Buckminster Fuller commemorative postage stamp to honor the designer of the geodesic dome on the 50th anniverary of its patent. For hardcore magazine wonks, the stamp may look familiar as it originally appeared on the cover of Time in 1964. Other objects designed by Fuller surround him, including the Dymaxion Car and the 4D Apartment House.
Thinking of Fuller, I detoured a few blocks out of my way home last night so I could take this picture of a rather unique building in Nashville that was obviously inspired by him, the AmSouth Bank branch at 5100 Charlotte Pike. I know nothing about its history but have always been struck by its quirky juxtaposition of design influences and building materials. (Later: the building is listed in this directory of Fuller-influenced structures.) Shortly before his death in 1983, I attended a conference in New York where the inventor, architect, engineer, designer, geometrician, cartographer and philosopher spoke. I don’t recall what the meeting was about but I do remember the venue: the ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel. If my math is correct, Fuller was 91 or 92 at the time. All I can recall about his presentation is my utter cluelessness at what he was talking about.