CARBONDALE - People who were close to R. Buckminster Fuller during his life and his time at Southern Illinois University Car-bondale have come back to celebrate his ideas, creativity and achievements.
The Fuller Dome Transformation Initiative began Monday in Carbondale. It is a week of events designed to raise funds to restore Fuller's dome home on Forest Avenue in Carbondale and ultimately attain a National Historic Landmark status.
Allegra Fuller Snyder, Buckminster Fuller's only child and former chairwoman of the dance department at UCLA, said her mother and father really enjoyed being in Carbondale. She said she is very appreciative of the celebrations in honor of her father, and the event is really about both her mother and father and the dome home they lived in. Snyder said Fuller's time in Carbondale was important to his career and the development of his ideas.
"It was an extraordinarily productive time for my father and that's very important," she said. "Many important directions that became even more significant in his work began to evolve here."
Thomas Zung, Fuller's partner and president of Buckminster Fuller, Sadao and Zung Architects, said some of Fuller's best years were spent at SIUC and his creativity and ideas that could benefit humanity stretched far beyond the geodesic dome, and included work in synergetics and the Dymaxion Car.
"Bucky had several golden years as many geniuses have," Zung said. "But to me, SIU is one of the big golden years because it was here that he conceived Expo '67."
Shirley Sharkley, a former SIU student and Fuller's secretary, said she believes the university played a role in fostering Fuller's work.
"I think SIU and Delyte Morris really deserve some credit," she said. "I think part of the reason Bucky was so productive here was because SIU supported him financially so that he could have a staff. He was then free to be creative and not worry about the little day-to-day things."