In the late 1920s, Fuller became interested in the weight of buildings. In the Reader (pp.168-170) he relates how he took part in a symposium on architecture attended by eminent architects like Van Allen (Chrysler Building), Schreve (Empire State), Frank Lloyd Wright, and others.

Fuller was given 10 minutes to explain the industrialization of housing, the key to which was weight. He asked those present what their buildings weighed. No-one knew.

The significance of this lies in the application of the concept of performance to livingry.

See also Strength Calculations.

A 1927 plan by the American Institute of Architects for an optimal single-dwelling indicated a structure that Fuller calculated would weigh about 150 tons. His own design for an equivalent-size house, the 4-D House, entailed a weight of only 3 tons. (Reader, p.204)

This 50:1 weight advantage shows how ephemeralization can offer universal shelter with diminishing use of resources. (Critical Path, p.148)

Compare this with the Iron House.



Paul Taylor 2001