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This is the eighth essay in a collection of twelve written by Byron Ferris for the "Design Sense" feature of the Sunday Northwest Magazine insert of The Oregonian during 1984 and 1985. – Ed.
In an earlier column I spoke of Buckminster Fuller, the great American design philosopher. I must tell you about the great opportunity I had to chat with him several years ago in Yugoslavia.
In the eariy 1930s Fuller, feeling unsuccessful and frustrated about his contributions to humanity, had decided to spend a year of silence just thinking about the patterns of science and design. From that period to his cataloging of the Earth's natural resources in the late 1970s, "Bucky" earned the affection and respect of the nation's design and intellectual community. His lectures revealed a bright, encompassing mind that brought to light new ideas and connections. His insights sparkled with creativity.
Fuller had explored the crystalline structures of minerals – basalts, silicas, salts – and that's why I wanted to talk to him.
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