Friday, March 27, 2009

Louisiana Highways of the Future: 1950

Pan American Petroleum Corporation. Louisiana Highway Map. 1934. Box 142, Guy Seghers Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

In 1934, designers for the Pan American Petroleum Corporation sought to represent America's future transportation; for them, 1950 looked very Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) . . . replete with speedy three-wheeled, teardrop-shaped vehicles. Fuller first rendered the ill-fated Dymaxion in 1927, naming the aircraft/automotive hybrid "4D transport." He later asked friend and sculptor Isamu Noguchi to develop a series of sketches and a wooden model of the vehicle (shown below). The National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada has the only known surviving Dymaxion Car, a Dymaxion 2 (1934). Norman Foster, the British Pritzker Prize-winning architect is planning to build a replica Dymaxion. To read more, click here.

Left: Isamu Noguchi (sculpture) & Buckminster Fuller (painting). Model of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Car, circa 1932. 3 1/8 x 10 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (7.9 x 26.7 x 8.3 cm). Sold December 2008 as "the property of a New Englad lady" at Sotheby's for $92,500. Read more here.

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