Design In Process

Sketching: drawing to explain

Sketch design by Buckminster Fuller for a geodesic dome

Sketch of a geodesic dome, 1972
Artist: Richard Buckminster Fuller
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections


This sketch was drawn by Buckminster Fuller on the back of an envelope during a meeting in Toronto, Canada in early 1972. Five years after his dome for the United States pavilion at Expo '67 opened in Montreal, Fuller drew this dome to help explain his idea to another person rather than to work out any particular vision.

The sketch shows how structural members link to create a geodesic dome. Notice the bolder black line in the lower part of the sphere showing how the perfect sphere is truncated to sit on the ground. This black mark and the red lines were probably added as Fuller spoke, each mark helping to explain his argument during the meeting.


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