As of last year, more than 37,000 articles had been published about Richard Buckminster Fuller and his work. The first of these appeared in 1917; half were written in the past twenty years. Fuller, now 87, is a one-man global institution: the genial grandfather of American inventiveness, the man who geodesically squared the circle, the best-known American thinker alive. The universal adoption of his dome designs has made him the most prolific architect in human history . He has been awarded 39 honorary doctorates, a gold medal from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, one from the British monarch, and at least five other gold medals, two grand prizes from the Milan Triennale exhibition, and five awards from the American Institute of Architects — although he was expelled from college, earned no degrees and is not licensed
to practice architecture. Fifty years after his Harvard class graduated without him, Phi Beta Kappa awarded him its key. He always wears it.