telling them stories, particularly at Halloween, such as “The Gnomes That Lived in Domes.” He always invited students to our house, without notice. He loved “thinking” aloud with them” Bucky lived with the Cohens until his dome home was built in April, 1960 and his wife Anne came to join him. The Cohen’s remained friends with Bucky and Ann Fuller until their deaths. In 1960, Doubleday published The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller with Robert W. Marks as co-author. And in 1963, his best known book, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth was published by E. P. Dutton. The latter became the bible for a generation of young designers, and was prescient since only six years later we landed men on the moon. Fuller’s vision for Spaceship Earth began with a handicap. As a child he could only see clearly at a distance. He was unencumbered with details. And that, as Robert Frost wrote in his most famous poem, “made all the difference”. Buckminster Fuller was a generalist, a visionary ahead of his time. Two recent exhibitions of his work, the 2008 retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2009 were tributes to his influence. Most all of his books are still in print, films and videos preserve his buoyant optimism. Excellent web sites and a growing memorabilia industry offer Bucky T shirts and tote bags to a generation of gray hairs who remember him, and now to young people from Virginia to Viet Nam. Yes, Viet Nam, for one of my former students just emailed to thank me for introducing him to Bucky’s seminal work during my design history class, especially for leading the students in “Rome Home to a Dome”, the lyrics Bucky wrote to the tune of “Home on the Range”. Bucky is now inspiring the Green Revolution even in Hanoi. I first met Bucky in Carbondale in the fall of 1959, just after he had been appointed University Professor. Bucky bounded into his “talk”, a short, bald guy with glasses so thick his eyes seemed double size. The design students were ready for him, with an 8mm camera and all the movie film the local drugstore had in stock. Four hours later, our film was all used up and Bucky showed no sign of stopping. But we were all aware that we were hearing something profound. I realized that day he had
How Harold L.Cohen made all the difference - continued - By Al Gowan
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Design at Southern Illinois University