Buckys Bathroom

Monday, January 11, 2010 at 12:51 AM

The Dymaxion Bathroom

An usual American bathroom is full of inconveniences. It is expensive to construct and is very time consuming; the tiles have to be laid along with custom plumbing. It is also difficult to clean with its many nooks and crannies that could harbor dirt and germs as well as being prone to leakage that might damage the structure of the building.

There have been a few molded plastic tub and shower that are usually only cheap substitutes.

The Dymaxion Bathroom is made from four rustproof, sheet metal stampings or plastic molding that form the three main areas of the bathroom: the sink, the toilet and the shower/tub. Each of the four sheets can be carried by two men through standard living spaces so it is suitable for almost every case of installation, especially retro-fitting. The four components are bolted together and are completely leak proof while only weighing 250 pounds.

Buckminster Fuller was aware of the daily inconvenience of the usual bathroom and came up with his own solutions. All corners of the bathroom have at least a 5cm radii for easy cleaning, so it would leave no difficult to clean crevices found in almost every bathroom. The sink faucet is directed away from the user to avoid any splashes. There are resistance heating stripes along beneath the steps separating the shower with the rest of the unit. A condensation-free mirror is inside the medicine cabinet. Finally a fan beneath the sink sucks away any steam or odor


There are two inventions by Bucky that were far ahead of their time and were meant to be put into the Dymaxion bathroom but was never accomplished, one was a packaging toilet other a fog gun.

Since none of these were ever manufactured there are none specifications for them but their theories can be fully explained.

Packaging Toilet

With assistance from Don Moore (appliance engineer), Bucky designed a waterless toilet system that automatically seals any excrement in a plastic bag. Therefore disease causing germs that are found in sewage systems would be eliminated. The bags would be picked by a collection service and no piping, septic tank or treatment plants would be necessary. The faults of the Packaging Toilet was that it required majority approval from the general public and also full cooperation from large companies that operate sewage plants. For these reasons alone the Packaging Toilet was never realized.

The Fog Gun

Water used by washing is a major waste of resource in a normal household. While Bucky was in the Navy he noticed that wind driven fog kept his face as well as ship, clean. The Fog Gun uses a the same mechanism that is found in airbrushing. With a atomizing nozzle that is supplied water at a certain pressure (Bucky proposed 200 ppi) and it would be sprayed as a fine mist that is capable of even cutting grease. Most importantly Bucky said a one cup of water would provide a satisfying shower. However questions were raised about its comfort, specifically the fact the water would cool within a feet from the nozzle because it is so fine and also the fact a spray shower would not seem like a very satisfying experience to most consumers.

In the essence the design for the Dymaxion Bathroom is a great summary of Bucky's philosophy. He is concerned with the idea of providing a efficient space where all the human necessities are satisfied, there are hints of great ideas ahead of its time never realized but the his grand ideas use prefabrication the main construction method.

So whether or not you are a fan of one of the most orginal minds of the 20th century, Buckminster Fuller, all you need is one look at the Dymaxion Bathroom.


  1. Samuel Says:

    Good - this will help a lot also with making the plan more detailed at 1:50.

  2. white three, who are you?

  3. airplane bathrooms, anybody? oh, and so i found out that white three turns out to be haley....

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