Lord Foster On Building The Dymaxion Car, And Don't Ask What It Cost

Image Credit Foster + Partners

After seeing the stunning Dymaxion car built by architect Norman Foster in Abitare and the Guardian, I wrote "I want one." Not that an eleven-seater is particularly useful, but it is just so gorgeous. Over at Metropolis, Martin Pederson managed to get the elusive architect on the line and do an interview with him, which in itself is evidently quite an accomplishment.

Lord Foster's Dymaxion Car from Metropolis magazine on Vimeo.

Like any project of this type, it went over time and over budget.

It took two years to complete this. How much did the project cost?

I'd rather not talk about that. The true answer is an arm and a leg, a lot of money. It took twice as long and cost significantly more than I had budgeted for it. Of course, that's everybody's story with any classic restoration. Everyone underestimated the task. But then, it was a group of perfectionists involved, and it's an absolutely stunning vehicle.

Foster credits Fuller with triggering the green movement; that is perhaps an overstatement. He also suggests that Americans don't understand him, and that Europe does. I am not sure I agree with that either- he has been a profound influence on so many architects in North America.

You've talked about Bucky to younger audiences. Do his ideas connect with them?

I think they really resonate. He empowered a generation. It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that he triggered the green movement. Whether anything has made enough of an impact can be debated, but certainly the environmental movement is rooted in Bucky. He has tremendous appeal and relevance to younger generation architects and environmentalists today and in a way, I feel that he's not recognized the way that he should be. He's been much more widely understood in Europe. I don't know how you feel, but I don't think he's ever been truly understood in America.

More in Metropolis.
More on Buckminster Fuller:
Quote of the Day: Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller's Wichita House- Early Sustainable Design
Quote of the Day: Elizabeth Kolbert on Buckminster Fuller
Quote of the Day: Bucky Fuller on How We Live

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