When we started the Archimedes Dome project we didn’t know we would land on a Buckminster Fuller inspired tensegrity web system used on a truncated icosahedron— who could’ve known?

But many of you have asked us, where did it start? We wanted to build a temporary community shelter that would comfortably hold 20-30 people— and we wanted it to be easy. No one wants to spend two days of a three day event setting up and striking the shelter.

We started with design criteria, they were pretty simple:

1) It must set-up and strike in under an hour.

2) It must not use bent poles under tension.

3) It must be able to be set-up with people alone (no cars, cranes etc.).

4) It must incorporate parts that can be found just about anywhere.

5) All parts are identical; assembly is not complicated.

6) It must withstand wind gusts from any direction.

7) It should not scrap all aesthetics for function. People should want to gather inside.

I’m sure each of these directives has shifted and become refined over time, but basically that’s it. It was a problem solving perspective that got us to the structure we have today.