4.180
Design Workshop — How to Build a Geodesic Dome: In-Situ Resource Utilization (summer)

Prerequisites: 
Permission of Instructor
Enrollment: 
Limited

Notes: 

  • Workshop occurs in Summer 2020 but registration is for the Fall 2020 term.
  • Expected number of work hours per week: 20
  • To enroll, please contact the instructor or TA of the class first.

“We need to find within technology that there is something we can do which is capable of taking care of everybody, and to demonstrate that this is so. That’s what geodesic domes are about and that’s what my whole life has been about. Don't fight forces, use them.”
Buckminster Fuller, 1981.

“[T]he farther humans go into deep space, the more important it will be to generate products and shelter with local materials, a practice called in-situ resource utilization.”
NASA Artemis Mission Guidelines, 2019

In remote collaboration with Tom Sachs (http://tomsachs.org) and his studio team, students will build a geodesic dome from a material, and at a scale appropriate to their current environment — wherever and however they find themselves. Whether made of fabric, foam, or abandoned flat-pack furniture, these domes will form part of a tradition of geodesic building by MIT architecture students that goes back to the oldest extant dome built by Fuller in 1954. But, equally, they will reimagine the craft and concerns of this tradition for the circumstances and challenges of our own time.