buckminister-fuller designed shell

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I heard that Buckminster Fuller designed a rowing shell. In light of his fame (ie Geodesic dome etc) anyone know more about it or a source of info

-- Bob Campbell (rbc@seanet.com), July 05, 2000


Dear Bob,

I don't have any specific knowledge of this shell, but I do believe that Fuller collaborated with famous naval architect W. Starling Burgess on the design of a radical 3 wheeled car which was actually produced in very limited numbers. The car was called the Dymaxion. Pursuing the Fuller/Burgess connection might be helpful in turning up info on the shell.


Andre de Bardelaben

-- Andre de Bardelaben (middlepath@aol.com), July 06, 2000.

Dear Bob,

I don't know any more about the Fuller designed shell than I did before, but your mention of the Geodesic Dome prompted me to ponder the Fuller/Burgess connection. Throughout his career Buckminster Fuller had a quirky desire to design and build homes that could be transported to their sites by aircraft. Aside from designing boats Starling Burgess was also a pioneering aeronautical engineer. If you examine early airframe construction and the framework of a Geodesic dome there are some very similar elements. Both produce very strong, lightweight structures. If you do turn up this shell I wouldn't be surprised to learn that its construction was even more fascinating than its shape. Good luck finding it.


Andre de Bardelaben

-- Andre de Bardelaben (middlepath@aol.com), July 10, 2000.

Dear Bob, Check out . This may be what you are thinking of. I don't know if there is any connection with Fuller or not. They are interesting designs regardless, check them out.

-- Bill Bowden (firden@cascade.org), July 14, 2000.

Sorry Bob, part of my original post was lost. It was supposed to say Check out, www.geodesicairoliteboats.com.

-- Bill Bowden (firden@cascade.org), July 14, 2000.

try the Buckminister Fuller Institute (http://www.bfi.org/ -i,ve found a photo and a drawing filed as "Rowing Needles". -also a letter under "rowing machine Carl Solway".

If you have access to the real world "your private sky,R.Buckminister Fuller:the art of design science" will be on display at the Design Museum London,Eng.june15-october15,2000. (http://www.designmuseum.org/ or november11,2000-january9,2001 in Germany at The Bauhaus Dessau. (http://www.bauhaus-dessau.de --"over 1,200 pieces from the Buckminister Fuller Archive...including :two prototypes of Fuller's original pair of rowing needles,.."(?!?)

-- peter sherwin (p.s@home.com), October 26, 2000.

You might look for the shell through Mystic Seaport. Here is a link to Starling Burgess info at Mystic. www.mysticseaport.org/library/manuscripts/ coll/coll193/coll193.ht

-- Hobey Ford (hobey1@aol.com), January 08, 2004.

Yes, he did design one. It was a long, aluminum (I think) catamaran with a sliding seat and outriggers mounted on the central frame. It was named the "Twin Needles", and there is a photograph of it in a book about Fuller's designs. I just can't remember the name of the book. As for the boat, I saw it myself recently, hanging from the rafters of a boathouse owned by a Fuller family member.

-- Gaeton AndrettaYes, he did design (4evrnbtr@optonline.net), January 12, 2004.

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