Burning Man a Dome Zone, But Not Beyond

Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome housing design is a popular form of housing at the temporary festival Burning Man. But why hasn't a good idea caught on in the mainstream?
December 1, 2010, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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This piece from GOOD explores the impact of Fuller's dome design, and why it hasn't found greater acceptance.

"Domes represent a whole new way of building, with an outcome that looks completely different from a conventional home. Their low cost should-despite the trade-offs of an awkward shape for furnishing, and weird acoustics-make them classic low-end alternatives to the norm. Would you be as likely to find a buyer for your dome as you would a conventional home? When making a purchase that will become your biggest expense over the coming years, taking a risk on the resale value seems imprudent. Further, in many places, neighbors or home owners associations might fight the development of a dome-next-door in order to protect the character of their neighborhood, which has something to do with their daily aesthetic experience but much more to do with their property values. Though domes have great disruptive potential, it appears that they are not disrupting the right thing, or, to use the language of disruptive-innovation theory: They are competing on the wrong terms."

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Published on Friday, November 26, 2010 in Good
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