"If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat may come along and make a fortuitous life preserver. That is not to say, though that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterdays contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem. -R. Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller holds one of his inventions, a tensegrity sphere, made of rods and cables, proposed as the basis for floating habitats known as Spherical Tensegrity Atmospheric Research Stations (or “STARS”), 1979. Fuller envisioned giant versions of the structure that were so light and strong that when they were filled with hot air, they’d float above the Earth, supporting stations up to a mile in diameter.