Buckminster Fuller’s vision lives on in Miami Design District

In 2011, collector Craig Robins acquired the 24-foot prototype Fly’s Eye Dome with the intention of exhibiting it and using it as inspiration for a key element of the Miami Design District. The following year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), in partnership with Goetz Composites, ConformLab and DRDesign, and a team of advisors began the development of a program to complete Fuller’s vision for the Fly’s Eye Dome using utilizing advanced technologies and materials not available to Fuller in the 1970’s.  Robins, through his company Dacra, commissioned BFI to produce a Fly’s Eye Dome utilizing state-of-the-art materials, intelligence and techniques, to be prominently incorporated into a significant public plaza in the Miami Design District.

Work commenced to analyze the original 24-foot prototype – its materials, joining systems, and in particular the lower truncation panels in order to improve the overall structural integrity, strength, and ease of installation. The analyses lead to design modifications that have dramatically increased the strength and wind load performance. A new system of retaining rings (used to hold the acrylic lenses in place) has been designed to better enhance overall structural integrity and seal the dome from water penetration, and the joining system has been re-designed.

The partnership with the Miami Design District -- and the unique Fly's Eye Dome being commissioned -- is an integral part of BFI's Fly's Eye Dome design program and enables BFI to test the evolution of the design described above. The commission underwrites the research, development and production process, which enables the generation of unique iterations of the structure as we move toward the final, full dome design vision. Moreover, the resulting structure will be integrated into a neighborhood internationally known for its significant commitment to architecture, design and creative expression and will become part of the fabric of daily life, as Fuller intended.

 

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