Alloys interested Fuller because of his concern with performance. He noted Henry Ford's keen interest in steel alloys, which were an integral part of Ford's methods of industrial production.

In 1927, Fuller discussed his designs for the 4-D House with engineers at the Aluminium Corporation of America. The designs specified aluminium alloys not yet developed, but whose availability he anticipated. As the soft metal was only used for domestic utensils at that time, he was mocked for his ignorance.

"Five years on, in 1932, the first heat-treated aluminium alloys became available and the development marked the realistic beginning of the large-scale airplane industry."
(Dymaxion World, p.22)

Alloys are classic examples of synergy, and are central to Fuller's account of the history of the use of tension and compression in building, and to his own radical conception of shelter design.



Paul Taylor 2001