Martino Peña Fernández-Serrano, José Calvo López
July 24, 2019
Sometimes scientific-technical objects can be given an extended meaning as cultural icons and be received in art and architecture. To this end, the object must be detached from its original context and viewed from different, new perspectives. In 1922 Walter Bauersfeld constructed one of the first geodesic domes for testing projection devices in Jena. Walter Gropius and Lázló Moholy-Nagy were among the first to visit the Jena Planetarium; Moholy-Nagy received the dome in his book ›Von Material zu Architektur‹. Richard Buckminster Fuller further developed Bauersfeld’s concept from the 1940s and patented the construction principle of a geodesic dome under the name ›Building Construction‹ in 1954. His patent bears resemblances to the Bauersfeld Planetarium in Jena, which can be demonstrated by manuscripts by Bauersfeld from the Zeiss Archive in Jena. Fuller, on the other hand, also used the geodesic dome to explain his theory as Synergetic. The article traces the transformation of the technical object conceived by Bauersfeld via Moholy-Nagy and Fuller into a cultural icon of the 20th century.