Geodesic Housing for the Homeless: Dome Made of Umbrellas

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Could a low-cost, lightweight geodesic dome made from umbrellas, garbage bags and a space blanket provide a real life-saving solution for people forced to sleep on the streets? ‘Earth Lander’ reclaims common materials in totally unexpected ways for a visual result that looks just as its name suggests, and it’s thermally efficient, providing a warm space that’s also resistant to water and wind.

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Umbrella frames were altered to make them more structurally secure, and combined with waterproof umbrella fabric to create the outer structure. Air-filled garbage bags, cellulose wool and a space blanket provide insulation.

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The umbrellas were assembled to create a geodesic dome that Bucky Fuller would be proud of. The transparent trash bags act as inflatable windows so the inhabitant can peer outside, and the octagonal door is secured with ties.

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It’s an intriguing idea that could help save the lives of countless homeless people who die from exposure each year during the harsh winter months, and keep them dry in other seasons. Check out 14 more innovative ideas for homeless housing, from similar short-term survival shelters to long-term transitional living spaces.