In appreciation of sleek, innovative design, I chose to critique the digital story, Buckminster Fuller on the Geodesic Life produced by PBS’s Blank on Blank. The imagery of this digital story really made the Buckminster’s words come to life.“Bucky” as he asked to be called, challenged the status quo thinking of his time much like the open-source framework used in our CU Digital Storytelling class and DS106 experience.
The storyline does a great job demonstrating how Bucky’s life experiences brought intrinsic questioning and inspired inventions. When his first child died, he went deep inside himself and asked how could the world have all this technology, but not be able to save his little girl. This dark time tilled the soils of thought until his second daughter came along five years later. This was a turning point for him where he began to ask himself how he could make the world a better place for all men, but especially his new daughter.
The story starts with Bucky being assembled by tools in a very methodical manner. From here we are led though complimentary imagery, inventive sketches, and black and white photos of Bucky’s life and work. One incredibly powerful image that sticks with me, is Bucky’s daughter putting the pieces of Buckminster back together in order to make him whole. Equally stunning is the image of Bucky’s head in the shape of geodesic dome.
Hearing Bucky’s distinctive accent throughout the story is such a treat. He spoke very much like a hurried inventor, mumbling and spouting philosophy. The Craftsmanship of this story really allows Bucky’s humanity to shine through, making him a very likeable genius. However, at the end of the story after the advertisement, the story fizzles for me. Although it’s a great story about his granddaughter, the animation does not deliver as it had in the first part. It would have been a better experience if the blending of voice and imagery could have been improved upon.