# Bucky Fuller's geodesic dome, generatively designed

Student Name
Gabriel Lipkowitz
Submitting For
Module 7 - Refine Your Options

The architect, geometer, and writer R. Buckminster Fuller was a staunch and early proponent of the use of computational methods in the design process, which he argued would wrest control away from fundamentally irrational global bureaucracies. So, Fuller would be happy indeed if we implemented one of his architectural plans with generative design! In particular, I am interested in investigating whether it is possible to optimize the design of his modular geodesic dome, which used triangular tesselations to (partly) covering the area it enclosed:

The architect, geometer, and writer R. Buckminster Fuller was a staunch and early proponent of the use of computational methods in the design process, which he argued would wrest control away from fundamentally irrational global bureaucracies. So, Fuller would be happy indeed if we implemented one of his architectural plans with generative design! In particular, I am interested in investigating whether it is possible to optimize the design of his modular geodesic dome, which used triangular tesselations to (partly) covering the area it enclosed:

DESIGN VARIABLES

• Radius. defined as the distance from the center to the circumference of the hemispherical geo-dome
• Number of panel levels. defined as the number of stories required to form the geodesic dome
• Number of panels per level. defined as the number of triangular tesselated units required to fill one level of the geodesic dome

DESIGN EVALUATORS

1. Buckminster Fuller called for the most efficient way to enclose the maximum amout of space. Thus, we want to minimize the panel area per unit volume (one outcome).
2. Relatedly, but distinctly, is the total number of panels per unit volume. For fabrication cost, we would like to minimize this, which, as described below, will likely lead to a tradeoff with design evaluator (1).
3. Inevitably, most people will be spending the majority of their time in the geodesic dome on the ground. (Though in real life, Fuller’s domes were actually transported by air!) This means that efficiently covering the maximum, , is of paramout importance. To that end, a final evaluation metric is ground square footage of the dome per area of panels that enclose it, which we seek to maximise.

1 Average panel area vs. total number of panels: Smaller panels inevitably means we need more to cover a given volume, but can we strike a balance where we select an optimal combination for fabrication efficiency?

2 Total number of panels vs. ground square footage: Covering more ground, which is desirable, inevitably means we need more panels to cover it, which is not.

3 Average panel area vs. ground square footage: Similarly to (2), but separately, covering more ground, which is desirable, means we likely need greater panel areas, especially at the base, to cover it, which is undesirable.

My implementation of the dome in Dynamo:

DESIGN VARIABLES

1 Radius. defined as the distance from the center to the circumference of the hemispherical geo-dome

2 Number of panel levels. defined as the number of stories required to form the geodesic dome

3 Number of panels per level. defined as the number of triangular tesselated units required to fill one level of the geodesic dome

DESIGN EVALUATORS

1 Buckminster Fuller called for the most efficient way to enclose the maximum amount of space. Thus, we want to minimize the panel area per unit volume (one outcome).

2 Relatedly, but distinctly, is the total number of panels per unit volume. For fabrication cost, we would like to minimize this, which, as described below, will likely lead to a tradeoff with design evaluator (1).

3 Inevitably, most people will be spending the majority of their time in the geodesic dome on the ground. (Though in real life, Fuller’s domes were actually transported by air!) This means that efficiently covering the maximum, , is of paramout importance. To that end, a final evaluation metric is ground square footage of the dome per area of panels that enclose it, which we seek to maximise.