I didn’t expect to buy anything when we went to the private view of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition today. But this image by Ian Chamberlain caught my eye. (Also love his images of old Thames Estuary flak forts.)
In the early 1970s, I was enthralled by geodesic design and architecture, with our bookshelves still crammed with books by Buckminster Fuller, Stewart Brand and others on the theme. Had breakfast with Bucky himself in Reykjavik 40 years ago and served as a judge for the Buckminster Fuller Institute in recent years.
So, though it’s obvious once you think of it, the idea that his glitteringly high tech work would eventually fall into ruin was something of a provocation. So I bought the original of Dome 1, as a reminder of the perils of technological obsession.
Then this evening, as I was shutting down for the day, I came across an interesting piece on CNN.com about the work of Gerard O’Neill, another major influence on my thinking some 3-4 years after I began working on city planning at UCL in 1972.
O’Neill did his work in Mountain View during 1975, where we were on a mission a couple of months back, visiting Singularity University. His three options at the time for NASA space habitats: the Bernal Sphere, the Toroidal Colony and the Cylindrical Colony. None of them yet built, but they would make fascinating ruins.
And speaking of ruins, we then headed across to the British Museum to see their Sunken Cities exhibition. Spellbinding – can’t wait to go back. And all the mentions of Osiris put me in mind of the first article I ever wrote for New Scientist, also in 1975, which was called ‘Beware The Wrath of Osiris.’