• After Spaceship Earth
    Eva Díaz
    Yale University Press, 2025
    Eva Díaz

R. Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao, “Project for Floating Cloud Structures (Cloud Nine),” ca. 1960. Black-and-white photograph mounted on board, 15 7/8 x 19 3/4 in. Courtesy the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

After Spaceship Earth is the first book to examine the immense influence of architect-designer R. Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) in contemporary art. To Fuller, the interdependence of human technologies and natural ecologies was exemplified in the notion of “Spaceship Earth,” and his metaphor subsequently became one the most powerful and enduring of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is also one of the most eccentric, conceiving of our planet as a monumental vehicle cum technologically-dependent architecture authored by human expertise. Contemporary artists have returned to Fuller’s project—participating in and reshaping conversations about resource management and the equitable distribution of global assets through design—in what the author terms a “Fuller effect.” After Spaceship Earth traces this important legacy, underlining both its usefulness and limits, a discussion now especially pertinent in our era of human-triggered climate change.

Eva Díaz is an art historian, critic, and curator living in Rockaway Beach, New York. She received her bachelor’s of arts from the University of California, Berkeley, her PhD from Princeton University, and was on the faculty of the Whitney Independent Study Program for a decade. She has contributed to magazines and journals such as Aperture, Artforum, Frieze, Grey Room, Harvard Design Magazine, New Left Review, and October. She is the author of The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College (University of Chicago Press, 2015). She is associate professor of contemporary art in the History of Art and Design Department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and is a Getty Scholar in Los Angeles in 2023–24.