Reinterpreting Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion Map

AJ Artemel AJ Artemel

Buckminster Fuller was many things—an engineer, an architect, a designer—but he was also a cartographer, adding maps to his series of Dymaxion objects. The goals behind the Dymaxion Map were many, but among them was the desire to make a tool for easily visualizing relationships between nations, as well as adding the ability to efficiently simulate real-world flows, such as the movement of resources or information. In its 2D form, the map was able to cut down on the distortions in other map projections caused by showing a sphere on a flat surface. The Dymaxion Map could also be cut out and folded into the Dymaxion Globe, and though there were many variations of the Dymaxion Map, they generally manifested in a sphere-approximating polyhedron.

Clouds Dymaxion Map by Anne-Gaelle Amiot

Fuller’s Dymaxion Maps were designed to fold into globes. Image from Life.

Since the map was debuted 70 years ago in the pages of Life, it has become synonymous with progressive thinking as well as Fuller’s legacy. To mark this anniversary, the Buckminster Fuller Institute sponsored DYMAX REDUX, a competition to redesign the Dymaxion Map, with entries judged by a graphic designer, an artist, and a close associate of Fuller’s. Eleven finalists have been selected, with a winner to be announced shortly. All eleven finalists will be displayed in New York in the fall, location to be announced, but in the meantime, we’ve collected them here.

Flumen Luna by Hector Tarrido-Picart

Timezones by Emils Rode and Oskars Weilands

Around the World/Voyages into the Unknown by Patrick Ryan Bourgeois and Akshay Mehra

Heatmap Land Deep Sea by Jan Ulrich Kossmann

Spaceship Earth: Climatic Regions by Ray Simpson

In Deep Water by Amanda R. Johnson

Dymaxion Woodocean World by Nicole Santucci and Woodcut Maps

Geography of Violence: Guns, Stress, and Mental Health by Karen Lewis

(W)igrations by nonOffice and Jonathan Robert Maj

Map of my Family by Geoff Christou