Monday, February 08, 2021

American History Lesson

Dymaxion House Interior

We'd be in a different situation if architects hadn't decried Bucky Fuller's idea to let the aerospace sector get into mass produced housing (this was pre dome). Airstream is as close as we got, otherwise manufactured and mobile homes tried to fit the bill, with architects continuing to do old technology one-offs, pandering to rich clients who insist on their "one of a kind" vehicle of self expression, the ego (eggo) house.
Meanwhile, all cars look the same and more and more Americans have taken to living in them. The alternative future went down as "the industry industry missed". Fuller's design was all about making the mother in the family stress free so she could hang out with the kids, considered sexist in the age of unisex jobs and both parents working. The design would be affordable and so mortgage free.

School teachers who share American history are at liberty to bring up this vision, in conjunction with a lot of other interesting history, such as World's Fairs, Disneyland, EPCOT... Defunctland is a fun Youtube channel on all this, and I reference it pretty often in mine. 

There's also a certain geometry Fuller developed, which we might teach as a part of literature, since he mostly used prose for it. American Transcendentalism. His great aunt Fuller was likewise a feminist and a first editor of The Dial, which first published Emerson and Thoreau. 

As a Quaker with an interest in curriculum, I tell my trainees they're free to share all this history and geometry, as I'm doing. I actually make fun of schools that don't communicate any of this information, calling them all kinds of insulting things (e.g. phony, substandard) behind their backs (that's called competition).