Buckminster Fuller’s experiences in the Navy became a model for his ecological design projects and suggestions for the global management of ‘Spaceship Earth’. Inspired by technocratic ideas of the 1930s, Fuller envisaged, in the 1970s, an elitist world without politics, in which designers were at the helm, steering the planet out of its environmental crises.
The etymological origin of ecology in the human house is the point of departure of this article. It argues that oikos is not merely a vague metaphor for ecology, but that built households provide a key to understanding the household of nature. Three households support this claim: the cabins of Henry Thoreau, Aldo Leopold and Arne Noess. The article suggests that their views on the household of nature stand in direct relationship with their respective homes. They also have a distant (...) epistemological bird's-eye view of nature seen from homes which were located - symbolically or in reality - on a mountain top. (shrink)