The literary nexus of gastronomy and industrial design occupies an esoteric department of the publishing world at the best of times. But Buckminster Fuller’s Synergetic Stew: Explorations in Dymaxion Dining, newly-reprinted to celebrate the design scientist, architect, author, poet, engineer and visionary’s 125th anniversary, might just be this delightfully niche category’s most obscure title of all. 

Originally published on Fuller’s 86th birthday, the Synergetic Stew cookbook was compiled as a surprise gift from his friends and admirers (Elizabeth Choy, Isamu Noguchi etc al.) who shared 100 plus recipes, including such choice concoctions as ‘Geodesicandy’, an ‘Allspace-Filling Whole Wheat Bread’, ‘a macrobiotic Diet’ created by indeterminacian musician John Cage and Fuller’s very own recipe for tomato ice cream. (‘Dymaxion Dining’, by the way, being a play on Bucky’s self-styled portmanteau word that fused dynamic maximum, and tension, summing up the goal of the futurist polymath’s pursuit of ‘maximum gain of advantage from minimal energy input.’)

Presented in a workable, stationery-chic, ring binder edition with mostly handwritten recipes, pen-illustrated visuals and a cover graphic that presents a strawberry (or tomato?) rendered in Fuller’s groundbreaking geodesic dome configuration, the book is a heart-warming tribute to the genius of a bonafide design hero.

Born in 1895, in Milton, Massachusetts, Richard Buckminster Fuller committed his life to rethinking the question of shelter, relentlessly challenging every assumption about structure, function, materials, technology, aesthetics, services, distribution, mobility, communication, collaboration, information, recycling, politics, property, and social norms, whilst simultaneously developing a radical philosophy of doing ‘vastly more with vastly and invisibly less.’ Fuller’s goal was a more efficient and equitable distribution of planetary resources to enable the survival and ongoing evolution of the human species. His work paralleled, radicalised and critiqued the mainstreams of modern architecture and still defies categorisation. Buy this book and cook, dine, drink, entertain and indulge in his honour. §