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Inspiration from a great mind

I just went to a show tonight on Buckminster Fuller. It was fascinating and inspiring. "Bucky" was born practically blind and it wasn't until the he was 4 or 5 and got glasses that he could really see anything well at all. We were told that when Bucky first went to school the children were asked to build structures with toothpicks and marshmallows. While the other children built structures that were familiar to them by sight. Bucky didn't have this to go on so he built what felt good. He put a triangle together and liked it because it was solid. It held its shape and could not be moved, twisted or changed. This became the basis for the geodesic dome that he would later build as well as the basis for his understanding of nature and the way it worked. This made me think about what assumptions we make about what is true. What are we missing because of our dependancy on this sight? How would we take in the world differently if we couldn't see or smell or taste, hear, or feel. If I couldn't touch and feel things would I appreciate a rock or a blanket differently. Probably! My knowledge of the world around me is based on what I have learned through my senses, but my senses may not be completely accurate all the time. A table looks and feels solid to me but science tells me that really nothing is solid. How would I understand a table if I could not see it or feel it, would I understand its function or would a completely new function seem more logical?


jadefrank's picture


Hi Lindsay,

Yes, I agree that if we are stripped of a sense, especially the sense of sight, we are forced to view our surroundings and the world in a different sense. We are so easily tricked by our sight or dependent on it, that we tend to miss out on things, approach problems from the wrong angle, or use our judgement incorrectly. Buckminster Fuller may have been so successful as an architect and inventor because at a young age, he learned to come at problems using better reason through his other senses. I think you've brought up a good question here - what are we missing through our dependency on sight? And how do we go about igniting our other remaining senses to make us more well-rounded and open-minded individuals? Something to think about...


consolata's picture


Hi Lindsay,
Really great to learn about something we really forget most of the time. Our senses! We take it for granted yet really powerful. Lets use our senses of sight to view what is happening around us and make our surroundings better. Really challenging..

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