Erik van Rheenen, writing for Mental Floss:
But the ball most commonly seen today — the one with black and
white pentagons and hexagons — was first designed in the 1960s by
architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, whose forte was designing
buildings using minimal materials. Previously, leather soccer
balls consisted of 18 sections stitched together: six panels of
three strips apiece. The soccer ball Fuller designed stitched
together 20 hexagons with 12 pentagons for a total of 32 panels.
Its official shape is a spherical polyhedron, but the design was
nicknamed the “buckyball.”
Can’t believe that great NYT piece on the history of World Cup ball design didn’t mention that it was Fuller who designed that iconic pentagon/hexagon ball.
Update: Perhaps the reason they didn’t mention Fuller is that he didn’t actually design the soccer ball, Adidas simply took inspiration from Fuller’s general buckyball structural concept?
★ Monday, 16 June 2014