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The word Dymaxion is a brand name that Buckminster Fuller used for several of his inventions. It is a portmanteau of the words "dynamic maximum tension"; however, it has also been reported that the name is a combination of the words dynamic, maximum, and ion, per the National Automobile Museum.

The term was invented for Fuller around 1928 by Waldo Warren, an advertising expert who had become well-known previously by inventing the word "radio" for what people used to call "the wireless" at the time.[citation needed] A brand name was needed for the display of Fuller's first architectural model, later to be known as the Dymaxion house.

In order to invent a word, Warren spent two days listening to Fuller and trying to get a feel for the type of language he used. He then played randomly with syllables from typical Fuller words, until the word "Dymaxion" was born.

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 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.


  • Leigh White, Buck Fuller and the Dymaxion World, in: The Saturday Evening Post, 14 October 1944, cited in: Joachim Krausse and Claude Lichtenstein (eds.), Your Private Sky, Lars Müller Publishers, Baden/Switzerland, 1999, page 132. ISBN 3-907044-88-6

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