Synergetics Collaborative (SNEC) Revisit Bucky Special Event Workshop Descriptions

A Special Event "Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics"

Workshop Times and Location:

Saturday 12 June 2010, 8:30AM - 5PM, Workshops, American University, SIS Building

American University, SIS (School of International Service) building
Nebraska and New Mexico AVE NW
Washington, DC 20016

Workshops Overview

The Synergetics Collaborative's special event Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics will include three workshops or "courses" to introduce R. Buckminster Fuller's "invention behind the inventions", that is, the work of Bucky's magnum opus, Synergetics. The workshops will take place during the day on Saturday, 12 June 2010 at American University's new SIS (School of International Service) building. Each course will include building a small model that participants will be able to take home, study, and use to build your understanding of how Universe and "SpaceShip Earth" coordinate. Each workshop will last two hours. To accommodate the large group expected, the courses will run concurrently in separate rooms. If you can attend for the whole day, you will be able to participate in each course. In the evening, the event will adjourn to attend a group viewing of D.W. Jacobs' play R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE. We hope the model-building experience will enhance your enjoyment of the play and inform participation in the lectures and discussions in our Sunday program.

Note: Pre-Registration for the "Revisit Bucky" event is required (please register early so we can get an accurate count on the number of workshop kits needed).

Workshop Descriptions

Course A: Introduction to R. Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Domes

Course A is a two-hour course that will be given three times: from 10 AM - Noon, 1 PM - 3 PM and 3 PM - 5 PM.

A brief introduction to R. Buckminster Fuller's Laminar Geodesic Dome patent will be discussed and a description of several applications will be given. Each person attending will assemble a 14" diameter die-cut paper board model of a new geodesic dome inspired by the patent. A CD ROM containing detailed information on geodesic structures will also be given to all attending the workshop.

Presented by Joseph D. Clinton President/CEO PolyModular, Ltd., and Clinton International Design Consultants. He was the coordinator of Design Technology programs at Kean University for 14 years, Director of Engineering/Design Scientist with Spitz Inc. where he was responsible for the engineering of spherical Planetarium and Space Theater screens and Aerospace flight simulation equipment. He was co-founder of 3-D Structures, Inc., a leading design and manufacturer of Aerospace flight simulation equipment. He retired from a world leader in Visual Displays, a British firm, SEOS, Ltd., as a Design Scientist. He serves on the Board of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, the Advisory Board of RBF Dome, and one of the founders and Past President of Synergetics Collaborative a not for profit association of Synergeticists. He has published in leading journals and given workshops on Synergetics & Design Science, holds several patents and is an internationally recognized Design Scientist.

Course B: Introduction to R. Buckminster Fuller's Vector Equilibrium (the "Jitterbug")

Course B is a two-hour course that will be given twice: from 10 AM - Noon and again from 1 PM - 3 PM.

Participants in this course will build their own meta-stable structure which changes its geometry; performing a space transformation in the hands of the maker. Participants will be guided through a deceptively simple assembly of punched out paper parts which will result in a dynamic structure that is guaranteed to excite a sense of wonder. We call this form "Octabug2", it is the latest incarnation of Buckminster Fuller's Jitterbug, which transforms fluidly from an octahedron to a cuboctahedron and back again. This system uses the constant dihedral hinge, developed by Dennis Dreher in 1974 for Fuller. The original, stainless steel, discovery model is in the Arthur Loeb collection at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The Octabug2 is a collaborative effort produced and manufactured by RISD. In addition, several related prototypes from SUNY Oswego's technology education program will be discussed.

Presented by Nick Tomlin, John Belt, and Jack Higgins

Nick Tomlin is a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (class of 2010). Interested in crafts, alternative technology, sustainable design and low-cost/high strength structures.

John Belt is Associate Professor Design at SUNY Oswego's Technology Education program and is the President of the Synergetics Collaborative. His undergraduate and graduate work in technology education was from Murray State University, Murray, KY. He taught at Murray State University for 10 years prior to joining SUNY Oswego in 1975. "My basic courses of design study and educational approach have a strong influence in Buckminster Fuller's work through my independent study of Fuller's work and networking with Synergetics Collaborative members".

Jack Higgins is a Technology Education major at SUNY Oswego (class of 2010) and future technology educator and designer. He has built numerous structures based on Synergetics including a 10' diameter pallet wood dome with no. 10 food can lid hubs. In addition, he and his students have built other models during his senior field placement for student teaching.

Course C: Introduction to R. Buckminster Fuller's Closest Packing of Spheres

Course C will be run at 1 PM - 3 PM and again from 3 PM - 5 PM

R. Buckminster Fuller often claimed that Synergetic Geometry was the invention behind all of his inventions. Participants in this workshop will engage in a hands-on process to comprehend "feelingly" one of the core concepts of Synergetic Geometry: the forms, shapes, and intricacies of the closest packing of spheres. Participants will interact with a number of different models demonstrating the sphere packing. They will make their own take home models built during the course that will demonstrate the concepts of the isotropic vector matrix, great circle arcs, and the interface of six fold and five fold symmetry.

Presented by Tim Havranek

Timothy Havranek is a member of the New Tools Collaborative which is an offshoot of the Synergetics Collaborative that explores "structural literacy". Tim has been an offshore oil and gas production engineer, consulting environmental remediation engineer, and founder of a small environmental remediation consulting firm. He is the author of the book "Modern Project Management Techniques for the Environmental Remediation Industry". Currently he is Vice President of a mid-size environmental consulting firm, Multi-criteria Decision Analyst (specializing in strategic planning for environmental remediation projects), Systems Modeler, Business and Risk Analyst, Project management Consultant, and a Student of Synergetic Geometry (over 25 years). He earned a BS in Petroleum Engineering, Marietta College in 1982 and MBA, Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.

Pre-Registration is required

Please register for the workshops now so we can order enough kits for all participants. If you can only participate in one or two workshops indicate which courses you want to take in the "Special Requests" entry box of the registration form. Register here.

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