Posted in biology, design and architecture, engineering

Global living

Not global in the world sense, but in the circular sense:

Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes have reached new heights: as tree houses for the rich and famous. Arboreal architect Dustin Feider is installing them all over the Los Angeles area. Producer and writer Mark Levin has two in his backyard. The LA County Museum of Art has exhibited one. And the nest shown here belongs to Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger. “There’s way more business in California,” says 26-year-old Feider, a Wisconsin native who landed in LA last year. “There are a lot of creative people — with a lot of money.”

He chose the geodesic shape for his constructions, which average $20,000 and 1,500 pounds, because it requires minimal material for great strength; the wooden polygons distribute stress across the entire structure. And lucky for the dome’s leafy host, Feider uses a cable suspension system to hang the orbs without drilling a single hole in the trunk or branches. “The house moves with the tree,” he explains, “like a boat in water.”

Kreiger says he wanted a dome so he could sit in it at dusk and watch the wild critters scurrying through the canyon below, “to see them without being seen.” Luckily, LA’s fauna appears to be unfazed by giant floating buckyballs.

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Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.