March 15, 2013

Library exhibit will highlight Fuller’s ‘Inventions’

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A special presentation at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library in April will celebrate the opening of a new exhibit highlighting R. Buckminster Fuller’s “Inventions:  Twelve Around One.”

The Special Collections Research Center is hosting the opening at 3 p.m. on April 2 in the John C. Guyon Auditorium. A reception in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors follows at 4 p.m.   The public is welcome to attend.

Fuller, the internationally known designer, architect, inventor and sustainability proponent taught at SIU Carbondale from 1959 to 1971. He supervised the exhibit creation.  Published in 1981, the exhibit represents 13 of Fuller’s innovative, patented designs and structures.  Fuller died in 1983 at the age of 87.

Guest speakers for the opening include Jon Davey, SIU architecture professor and president of the RBF Dome NFP, and Larry Busch, art and design professor emeritus and a former colleague of Fuller’s.  Davey and Busch will discuss the connection between Fuller’s “Inventions” and sustainability, and explain how the famous architect’s designs and philosophy remain relevant today. 

Ten select drawings from the exhibit will be on display in the library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors during the month.  Each 40x30 inch drawing incorporates a clear, polyester sheet bearing the design’s engineering specifications and overlaying a screen print of the completed structure.   Visitors will be able to view some of Fuller’s most recognized designs including the geodesic dome, the Dymaxion car, rowing needles and the Dymaxion bathroom. 

Allegra Fuller Snyder, Fuller’s daughter, donated the set to Morris Library in December 2012.  The original collection included just 60 numbered portfolios and 20 “hors commerce” sets.  Special Collections has sets 15 to 20.

The exhibit is in conjunction with a variety of other April events recognizing Fuller, his innovation, and contributions and efforts to restore and maintain his dome home.  Planned events include the Fuller Future Festival, April 4-6, and Dome Days, April 19-20.

For more information about the “Inventions:  Twelve Around One” exhibit or opening, contact Matt Gorzalski at 618/453-2225 or by email at