Video: Animating Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Worldview

Period interviews with the genius engineer are brought to life in this colorful video short.

Buckminster Fuller was one of the most fascinating inventors, designers, and thinkers of his time. The geodesic dome, his most famous contribution, proved that lightweight structures could be impressively strong. “Bucky,” as he preferred to be called, saw this as a possibility to optimize homebuilding, which remained his passion for most of his life. “I must reorganize the environment of man” he said, “by which then greater numbers of men can prosper.”

In 1965 and 1970, Studs Terkel interviewed Fuller on his eponymous radio show. They discussed his work, his eccentric ideas for the future, and the meaningful experiences that shaped his drive for innovation. These two interviews form part of the Studs Terkel Radio Archives, along with thousands others that were collected over the 45 years the show was on the air.

The creators of Blank on Blank—a Brooklyn-based nonprofit studio whose mission is to “preserve and re-imagine the American interview”—have partnered with PBS and the Studs Terkel Radio Archives to compile segments of these conversations in an animated short titled “Buckminster Fuller on The Geodesic Life.” This constitutes the first episode of The Experimenters, a miniseries in the works where they will do the same with other innovators such as Jane Goodall and Richard Feynman.

By illustrating these fascinating conversations, the creators of Blank on Blank are bringing some of the most influential voices of the past back to life for new audiences.

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