There is one other image of this object. This object has no known copyright, and as such we offer a high-resolution image of it. See our image rights statement.

 

See more objects with the tag architects, architecture, home, future, geometric, house, planning, cities, buildings.

Object Timeline

-0001

1918

  • Work on this object began.

1938

  • Work on this object ended.

1991

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Print, Design for the Ten-Deck House

This is a Print. It was architect: R. Buckminster Fuller. We acquired it in 1991. Its medium is mimeograph print, brush and blue watercolor on white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

R. Buckminster Fuller was a designer, inventor, architect, engineer, and philosopher but he called himself simply a "comprehensivist." As an optimistic visionary, in 1927 Fuller decided to learn what one individual could do for humanity, considering global, economic, and environmental problems that were then rarely discussed. He designed for future rather than present needs, which is epitomized in the Ten-Deck House, one of his earliest designs for low-cost, mass-produced housing. To install the house, a small bomb would detonate, creating a crater. Then, a dirigible would deliver and lower the pre-constructed house, made of lightweight materials, into the hole. The entire building was structured around a central mast with tension cables that supported the decks, freeing the ground space. Each deck accommodated four living stories. This hand-colored mimeograph print, created using an early version of a photocopying machine, depicts the house from an angle, giving it the look of a skyscraper. Fuller was uninterested in aesthetics and traditional norms, so this image is likely the result of a functional idea, rather than a predetermined visual effort. Although the Ten-Deck House was never realized, he applied its principles to later designs, like the well-known single-family Dymaxion House, for which he created a prototype.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Experimental Structures.

This object was catalogued by Carey Gibbons.

  • Object ID #18468717
  • black crayon, stumped, pen and black ink, brush and black wash, varnish on....
  • 1969-137-4

Our curators have highlighted 14 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Cite this object as

Print, Design for the Ten-Deck House; Architect: R. Buckminster Fuller (American, 1895–1983); USA; mimeograph print, brush and blue watercolor on white wove paper; 1991-53-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18636587/ |title=Print, Design for the Ten-Deck House |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>