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Buckminster Fuller: Poet Of Geometry

Illustrator Cole Gerst paints a cohesive picture of the icon's prescient approach to design

by Stephen Pulvirent in Design on 29 March 2013

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Buckminster Fuller's utopian design vision, unrivaled in the 20th century and anchored by his famous reinvention of geodesic domes, reflected the polymath's philosophy that flexible thinking, good design and an honest desire for progress could solve humanity's woes once and for all.

Designer and artist Cole Gerst has been a devotee of Fuller's works and ideas for more than a decade, but he found that "much of the imagery on Fuller is in black and white and not of the best quality" and "some of his ideas are complex, abstract and hard to understand" for the casual reader. To both pay tribute to the design pioneer and help delineate his ideas for fellow devotees and the uninitiated alike, he wrote and illustrated "Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry." The beautifully graphic volume, recently launched on Kickstarter, brings together disparate pieces of Fuller's work, Gerst's original drawings and historical context for some of Fuller's most radical ideas.

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"I thought bringing in my style of colorful illustration might attract a whole new group of people that might not have been inclined to pick those other books up," says Gerst. "I want this book to be approached easily."

It's not only Fuller's designs themselves that Gerst hopes to share. "It was more about the reasons he was doing these designs in the first place," he says. "It was his tireless and selfless passion to create a better world for all humanity. He was decades ahead of his time with ideas for environmental sustainability and human equality."

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The illustrator will also offer goods like T-shirts, coloring books and limited-edition prints with original designs at various levels of funding. The hardcover first edition of the book should be ready for holiday 2013. Fuller-philes who need to tide themselves over until the book arrives in December should check out 99 Percent Invisible's extensive look at one of Fuller's geodesic domes.

Images by Cole Gerst

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