July 3, 2006 6:00 AM PDT

Geodesic domes: 'Doing more with less'

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Road Trip 2006

July 11, 2006

Burning Man meets The Dicky Box

September 8, 2005
ASHLAND, Ore.--Six years ago, several friends and I were putting together the infrastructure for our Burning Man camp and decided it would be great to house everything inside a geodesic dome.

After looking into making our own, we realized we didn't have the time. This being 2000 and pre-recession, we were still flush enough to buy one. So we pooled our resources and plunked down several thousand dollars for a dome from the place everyone seemed to say was the only one that sold what we needed: Ashland's Pacific Domes.

Geodesic domes

We bought a 30-foot-diameter frame, and shortly afterward tried setting it up in a schoolyard in San Francisco. We failed, but still thought we understood what we were doing. Thus, we felt we were in good shape for taking it to Burning Man and erecting it there.

Once in the desert, we found we had yet again failed to master dome construction. And magically, just as we were about to give up, the very person who sold us the dome wandered by and not only saved the day, but did it single-handedly.

Afterward, when he was explaining how he had managed to put the top of the dome together, all by himself, when 10 of us couldn't manage it, he said it was because he did it at least once a week, every week. In fact, he said, he often would lie outside at night, staring up at the sky, subconsciously connecting stars in his mind with dome struts.

Since then, Pacific Domes has frequently been on my mind. Not only because dozens of Burning Man groups use its domes, but because it seems like every big corporate event I go to these days--be it the Xbox 360 launch event in the Mojave Desert or Sony's party at E3--features one or more of their domes.

So I decided that as the last stop on my Road Trip 2006 around the Pacific Northwest, it would be appropriate for me to stop by Pacific Domes.

I found myself on Saturday afternoon in the home of Asha Deliverance, the company's co-founder. We talked about the iconic structures, sacred geometry and Buckminster Fuller, the inventor of the modern geodesic dome.

According to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, domes are among the most efficient and strongest structures in the world.

"Fuller discovered that if a spherical structure was created from triangles, it would have unparalleled strength," the site states. "The sphere uses the 'doing more with less' principle in that it encloses the largest volume of interior space with the least amount of surface area, thus saving on materials and cost?.The spherical structure of a dome is one of the most efficient interior atmospheres for human dwellings because air and energy are allowed to circulate without obstruction. This enables heating and cooling to occur naturally."

Road Trip 2006

Practically speaking, Deliverance told me, people buy domes because they're sturdy, inexpensive and an efficient use of space. Many of the sales made by the company--it sells frames, covers and kits that can be used by people to build their own dome homes--are to individuals wanting to live in them. Thus, the 16-foot and 30-foot models are very popular.

Many companies also want to use the structures for corporate events, she said. Pacific Domes sells and rents a significant number of 44-footers, and the occasional 60-footer.

But, Deliverance said, there is no known limit to just how big a geodesic dome can be.

"I have a fearless nature, so I keep going for bigger and bigger domes," she said. "We're not sure (if there's a limit). We're taking it slow. We have engineering, and we can go bigger with heavier tubing."

CONTINUED: Helping out on the Gulf Coast…
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15 comments

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"This being 2000 and pre-recession..."
Sorry to burst your bubble (Oh, wait, Greenspan did that already!), but we were in a recession in 2000 --at least according to most economists. We were emerging from that recession in 2001 but then got sidetrack for a short time by that pesky 9-11 thing. Sort of a burning man of a third kind....
Posted by hardedge (98 comments )
Reply Link Flag
well
if it was at the begining or so you never know a recession is a recession until after the fact so for many fortunes did no dissapate until later. I live in Seattle and you could see it was the homes by the lakes went up for sale all the same time.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Link Flag
"This being 2000 and pre-recession..."
Sorry to burst your bubble (Oh, wait, Greenspan did that already!), but we were in a recession in 2000 --at least according to most economists. We were emerging from that recession in 2001 but then got sidetrack for a short time by that pesky 9-11 thing. Sort of a burning man of a third kind....
Posted by hardedge (98 comments )
Reply Link Flag
well
if it was at the begining or so you never know a recession is a recession until after the fact so for many fortunes did no dissapate until later. I live in Seattle and you could see it was the homes by the lakes went up for sale all the same time.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Link Flag
I want one
These look cool.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I want one
These look cool.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Build your own dome home
Timberline Geodesic Domes
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.domehome.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.domehome.com/</a>
Posted by Get_Bent (534 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Build your own dome home
Timberline Geodesic Domes
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.domehome.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.domehome.com/</a>
Posted by Get_Bent (534 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Speaking less does more !
Dear Daniel ! Well, I'm glad I could help you back at
Burning Man and yes I still lay around at night connecting
stars with struts and have been at Burning Man 10 years
now. Hope to see you there. Asha sure changed the story to
her benefit. Pacific Domes didn't build a 90 ft or 120 ft
dome. It's all ego drivin' greed for wealth and false
recognition. A tent is a tent,it's still just a tent. That's why I
left them long ago. I now work with kind friends building
domes for events and good causes. My Company is
Domeseurope.com. based worldwide. Our prices are much
more realistic for burners and others. It's all good. Hope to
run into you again. Johan the Domeguy
Posted by Johanziems (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pacific Domes
Oh Dearest "Johan the Domeguy!!!
One could question the definition of "EGO"...
"[an inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others
self: your consciousness of your own identity]"
Shall we all consider how many years we have been a part of Burning Man... to DEFINE?
Pacific Domes, and Asha Deliverence, has and will continue to be an amazing company! Built and nurtured, not economicly, on the idea that there is a better way.
Charitably and with the idea of "doing the next best thing in front of you".
Building, creating, and having a model. A model for what one believes could, and has made a difference.
One could, and maybe should, go on and on about the way some judge ohthers.... especially when they are all in their "ego".
Blessings to Pacific Domes! Blessings to all that have worked so hard to create, and support the next best thing in front of them.
Blessings to you Johan,
K
Oh and couldn't leave this out.... the 90ft and 120ft have been done!!!
Posted by KimberlyDare (2 comments )
Link Flag
Speaking less does more !
Dear Daniel ! Well, I'm glad I could help you back at
Burning Man and yes I still lay around at night connecting
stars with struts and have been at Burning Man 10 years
now. Hope to see you there. Asha sure changed the story to
her benefit. Pacific Domes didn't build a 90 ft or 120 ft
dome. It's all ego drivin' greed for wealth and false
recognition. A tent is a tent,it's still just a tent. That's why I
left them long ago. I now work with kind friends building
domes for events and good causes. My Company is
Domeseurope.com. based worldwide. Our prices are much
more realistic for burners and others. It's all good. Hope to
run into you again. Johan the Domeguy
Posted by Johanziems (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pacific Domes
Oh Dearest "Johan the Domeguy!!!
One could question the definition of "EGO"...
"[an inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others
self: your consciousness of your own identity]"
Shall we all consider how many years we have been a part of Burning Man... to DEFINE?
Pacific Domes, and Asha Deliverence, has and will continue to be an amazing company! Built and nurtured, not economicly, on the idea that there is a better way.
Charitably and with the idea of "doing the next best thing in front of you".
Building, creating, and having a model. A model for what one believes could, and has made a difference.
One could, and maybe should, go on and on about the way some judge ohthers.... especially when they are all in their "ego".
Blessings to Pacific Domes! Blessings to all that have worked so hard to create, and support the next best thing in front of them.
Blessings to you Johan,
K
Oh and couldn't leave this out.... the 90ft and 120ft have been done!!!
Posted by KimberlyDare (2 comments )
Link Flag
The way i have seen it is Asha w/ Pacific Domes have been care giving many events through out the world, in most cases benevolently.

I hear they have just sent a dozen 40' domes to Haiti for FREE to be used as emergency medical facilities. (match that Johan the X-Dome guy)

Asha is a universal humanitarian and comes from a conscience & moral heart space. I have met her in person and can vouch for this good medicine women character. I stand with many in support for Pacific Domes and their ethical & humanitarian efforts.
Posted by DustinReddusk (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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