Design By Many

Along with Hewlett Packard, AutoDesk University has launched a fresh online initiative called ‘Design By Many’. ‘Design By Many’ is an international challenge-based design technology community which enables participants to post challenges, together with their design source files. The community can then post responses with their own source files to solve the challenge. They can also comment on the challenge and interact with other designers throughout the process. The first (sponsored) challenge regards the modeling of a parametric version of Buckminster Fuller’s famous Dymaxion House.

The Dymaxion House was designed by Fuller in order to address several perceived shortcomings with existing home-building techniques. What makes the Dymaxion House unique is that it consists of a relatively cheap factory manufactured kit that can be assembled on site, intended to be suitable for any site or environment and to use resources efficiently. One important design consideration was ease of shipment and assembly. As explained by the Buckminster Fuller Institute

“…the word ‘Dymaxion’ was coined by combining parts of three of Bucky’s favorite words: DY (dynamic), MAX (maximum), and ION (tension). The house used tension suspension from a central column or mast, sold for the price of a Cadillac, and could be shipped worldwide in its own metal tube. Toward the end of World War I, Fuller attempted to create a new industry for mass-producing Dymaxion Houses.”

Judges for this open design challenge include Shane Burger from Grimshaw Architects and Robert Yori from Skidmore, Ownings & Merril. The winner receives an HP Designjet 111 printer. Everyone can participate. You can sign up on the Design By Many website.