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tom 2.HEIC

 Tom Miller

This website constitutes nearly 50 years of studying the design aesthetics of the natural world. I have defined, measured, mapped and built physical models of the modular building patterns that construct basic geometry, the essence of Newtools geometry. My work is a 45-year expansion of many of the ideas of Buckminster Fuller and his Synergetic Geometry. I asked myself “how can Fuller's ideas be made more accessible to help solve local building problems”.

I have been extremely fortunate to have collaborated with several highly creative individuals. Since 2004 I have closely worked with Fabiano Schwalb a Brasilian architect. CJ Fearnley encouraged me when I was an unknown to trust my instincts, keep an open mind and do the work. Joe Clinton took me under his wing in 2006 and has inspired, advised and guided me throughout the years. Victor Acevedo has continually helped me initiate new phases of my work with his collaborations. Gentry Farley helped me begin the process of presenting my ideas to the world. Finally, Tim Havrenek's interest in my work has sustained me during the long haul of organizing a large body of material. All of these people have been integral in developing Newtools and naturalmodular building techniques.

  "I am a design scientist"

Fuller stated that to be an effective design scientist you must find a problem no one else is attending to and solve it with your unique abilities. I chose reorganizing basic geometry to make it much more useful for builders of all kinds. My unique talents lie in finding and constructing an order around the modular building patterns embedded in fundamental structures.

Synergy is the behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of the parts taken individually. These systems will always be more than the sum of their parts because of the communication networks that exist among the parts. Each integral part ‘knows’ its exact relationship with every other integral. An integral is a part essential for the completion of the whole. If you change one measurement in these system all of the others will change in unison to maintain a constant relationship.

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This website will begin by limiting our explorations of the fundamental interconnectedness of basic geometry to the Five Platonic Solids. More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks defined these 5 polyhedra (geometrical systems) as most fundamental because of their simplicity and ‘regularity’ of their outside appearance. Newtools defines 20 geometrical systems as fundamental but focusing on these 5 will demonstrate a large variety of interconnectedness even among the simplest of structures.


Naturalmodular building techniques grew out of Newtools geometry. I have cataloged the structural and numerical constants that define the basic modular building patterns into a kind of ‘periodic table of structural interconnectedness’. The synergy of fundamental structure gives any builder a new set of tools to explore basic geometry as a catalog of modular building patterns that can be adapted to solve your local building problems. My theory states that basic geometry is the Most Effective Minimum expression of “Design-in-Nature” reducing the complexity of this design aesthetic into easy to understand building patterns.

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