When it comes to practicality, geodesic domes are a contractor's worst nightmare. Where can you get windows that conform to hexagonal panels? Where should you install the pipes? Would a chimney look out of place? In spite of all these questions, we spent a good portion of the 1970s and '80s touting geodesic structures as the next big suburban fad.
The trend began, of course, after R. Buckminster Fuller received a patent for his geodesic domes in 1954. Although Fuller's idea wasn't entirely original, he is credited for formulating the structure's mathematics. Initially commissioned by the military and by specialized companies, Fuller's geodesic domes went on to become a viable solution to the postwar housing crisis. While most families continued buying conventional houses, fans of the geodesic dome spent several decades promoting it as a super strong, easy-to-build vacation home. If a second home were too expensive, you could always pitch stylish mini domes on your lawn.