Al Gowan • Cambridge, MA • firstname.lastname@example.org • (SIU Design 1953-55, and fall of 1959)
Design at Southern Illinois University
mostly Indians, but some chiefs, too.
Just after lunch one day, Bucky strode into class and asked for volunteers to help build his house. Most of
us had planned to go home for vacation and some money. Bucky blinked his giant, blue eyes. "We could
build it in a day."
Although I was not there to see it, on April i9th,
at the corner of Forest and Cherry streets,
Fuller's 37’ Pease Dome was assembled. The slab
floor had been poured a week before with the
plumbing, heating, and electrical outlets
roughed in. As the builders lifted prefabricated,
pentagonal sections into place. Bucky talked
about housing. He said the acute housing
shortage could be solved if the banks would just
finance his portable, easy-to-assemble domes.
Another day, Elsa Kula handed out a song sheet.
Together, we sang Bucky's new lyrics for "Home
on the Range.
That semester my mind was buzzing but I had a
family of four to support and I could not do it in
Carbondale. So, by December I had accepted a
job at another midwestern university. On moving
day, I was sad to be leaving Carbondale. I wished
I'd had one of Bucky's domes in tow.
By January 10, 1964, the same day Bucky Fuller
appeared on the cover of Time magazine, I
started my first teaching job at Indiana
University. Many decades, and four teaching jobs
later, Bucky's ideas are still pertinent to me. I
explained to students in Design History how his
earlier utilization of military production facilities
can still produce transportation and housing.
One day, on my way to my class at Massachusetts
College of Art and Design, I remembered another
thing Bucky said that day in 1959.
You must either be concerned with making sense or making money.”
I still believe that too.
ROAM HOME TO A DOME
By R. Buckminster Fuller
(to the tune of Home on the Range)
1. Let architects sing of aesthetics that bring
Rich clients in hordes to their knees:
Just give me a home in a great circle dome
Where stresses and strains are at ease.
Chorus: Rome home to a dome
Where Georgian and Gothic once stood:
Now chemical bonds alone guard our blondes
And even the plumbing looks good.
2. Let modern folks dream of glass boxes with steam
Out along super-burbia way;
Split levels, split loans, dual breadwinner homes
No down payment, decades to pay.
Chorus: Roam home to a dome
No banker would back with a dime;
No mortgage to show,
No payments to go
Where you dream, dwell and spend your own time.
3. There once was a square with a romantic flair
Pure Beaux Arts-Mckim, Meade & White.
In the mood that ensued he went factory nude-
Mies, Gropius, Corbu and Wright.
Chorus: Roam home to a dome
On the crest of a neighboring hill;
Where the chores are all done before they're begun
And eclectic nonsense in nil.
A Baptist Meets Bucky - continued
By Al Gowan