Wednesday, August 22, 2007

from bucky to biosphere... and back again...


here's a souvenir from the buckminster fuller designed giant geodesic globe that encased the us pavilion at expo 67. the metal badge (which i also found sunday) is slightly convex, forming a very low dome, so the form and image are either unintentional reflections of each other, or an unbelievably beautiful design.

you can read much about what the pavilion contained during the expohere.

remarkably, after the expo ended, the dome was deemed important enough to be left standing. it survived intact until the mid 70's, when a fire melted the plastic panels. the steel structure remained intact; and the hollow skeleton sat unused for years until the early 90's. in 1995, a museum opened in the interior space dedicated to environmental issues relating to water, and was dubbed the "biosphere" museum. i believe this was fuller's largest geodesic, and considering it was designed for a world's fair, it's kind of amazing that it still exists on site.

i googled the word biosphere to find some history, and got to a site that said it was a term coined by vladimir vernadsky. it seems verdansky did write a book called "biosphere" in 1926, but the term was supposedly first used by edward seuss in 1885. the interesting thing is that vernadsky seems to be responsible for another term... the noosphere (what a word!) - "the sphere of human thought".

according to verdansky via wikipedia, the noosphere is "the third in a succession of phases of development of the earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere."

in the "see also" section at the bottom of verdansky's wikipedia page there's a link to "buckminster fuller". a click reveals that the fuller page doesn't mention either sphere - bio or noo, but it's nice to know that everything still comes back to bucky in one way or another...

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Blogger narvolicious said...

Wow, awesome pin. All this talk of biospheres reminds me of Silent Running. Great site, btw. I'm hooked.

1:36 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

mmmm....silent running....that movie would've been perfect if it wasn't for the joan baez song... ouch!.... thanks for visiting... i've been sneaking by your own world as well...

9:54 PM  

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