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Dymaxion House as installed in Henry Ford Museum

The word Dymaxion is a term that Buckminster Fuller used for several of his inventions. It is a portmanteau of the words dynamic, maximum, and tension.[1]

A brand name was needed for the display of Fuller's first architectural model, later to be known as the Dymaxion house, at the Marshall Field's department store in Chicago.

In order to invent a word, a wordsmith hired by Marshall Field's spent two days listening to Fuller and trying to get a feel for the type of language he used. He then played with syllables from typical Fuller words, until he and Fuller agreed on the word "Dymaxion".

Fuller was excited about the word and used it for many of his inventions during the decades to follow, including the Dymaxion house, the Dymaxion Deployment Unit, the Dymaxion car, and the Dymaxion World Map. Dymaxion also came to describe a polyphasic sleep schedule he followed, consisting of four 30 minute naps throughout the day. He also renamed his elaborate journal, in which he sought to document his life as an experiment with the greatest possible detail, as the Dymaxion Chronofile.


  1. ^ Sieden, Lloyd Steven (2000). Buckminster Fuller's Universe. Basic Books. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7382-0379-9.