Geodesic Domes homepage people buckminster fuller geodesic domes

A Geodesic Dome is a type of structure shaped like a piece of a sphere or a ball. This structure is comprised of a complex network of triangles that form a roughly spherical surface. The more complex the network of triangles, the more closely the dome approximates the shape of a true sphere.

By using triangles of various sizes, a sphere can be symmetrically divided by thirty-one great circles. A great circle is the largest circle that can be drawn around a sphere, like the lines of latitude [Ed. he means longitude] around the earth, or the equator. Each of these lines divide the sphere into two halves, hence the term geodesic, which is from the Latin meaning "earth dividing". [From Mitch Amiano]

The dome is a structure with the highest ratio of enclosed area to external surface area, and in which all structural members are equal contributors to the whole. There are many sizes of triangles in a geodesic, depending on the frequency of subdivision of the underlying spherical polyhedron. The cross section of a geodesic approximates a great-circle line.

(from the R.Buckminster Fuller FAQ)

(This GEODOME is a ray traced image with POV-Ray created by Andy Wardley. Geodesic dome out of black metal pipes and joints and a blue metallic sphere with some lighting arcing around. More info)

Buckminster Fuller invented the Geodesic Dome in the late 1940s to demonstrate some ideas about housing and ``energetic-synergetic geometry'' which he had developed during WWII. This invention built on his two decade old quest to improve the housing of humanity. It represents a brilliant demonstration of his synergetics principles; and in the right circumstances it could solve some of the pressing housing problems of today (this housing crisis Fuller predicted back in 1927).

Scientific American has a link to this page in the article The Architecture of Life (A universal set of building rules seems to guide the design of organic structures--from simple carbon compounds to complex cells and tissues)