Tuesday, June 5, 2007

And now for something completely different!

Or "The world according to Buckminster Fuller". I feel we need some counterweight to PP's post about the monoculture and conformist thinking, "More and more of the same".

The Dymaxion world map designed by R. Buckminister Fuller (I mentioned him in this post), inventor and visionary, has several features I like very much. It does not have the usual projection problem were the poles get stretched out and distorted, it folds (animation here) into a polyhedron so it can be used as a regular globe and it shows all continents together as an island in the ocean(s).
The last point I find interesting from a psychological point of view. I suspect that how things are presented steers us to think about them in a certain way. On an ordinary map the continents are divided, on Fuller's they are closer together like links in a chain. Fits very well with the rest of his views.

From this picture you might fold your own polyhedron. There's also very detailed ones one can buy from the Buckminister Fuller Institute.

Some Australians seems to be fond of this map. Can't blame them, who want's to be "down under"?

(Listening to while posting: Jens Johansson - Don't mention the war)


CJ Fearnley said...

The Synergetics Collaborative is holding interesting events in Oswego, NY and Providence, RI this year, building on Buckminster Fuller's Synergetics.

LS said...

O.K., maps are fascinating. I remember when I first saw Mercator's projection in my Cartography class, and suddenly realized that not only the position of continents can change depending on how you draw the map, but their size as well. Most maps have the 'home country' in the center, so it makes sense that a map of China has a whole Pacific Ocean and a split Atlantic Ocean. Poor Iceland might be split down the middle :)

CJ, thanks for visiting and commenting on our blog!