Doing More with Less

Geodesic domes

Buckminster Fuller was a renowned inventor and architect in the 20th century. He developed geodesic domes, a form of structure based on the strength of connected triangles. Fuller found that the triangular shapes were not only stronger but allowed for larger interior spaces when constructed in the shape of a dome.

The best thing about a geodesic dome as a building is that it’s very energy efficient. There are no additional structures needed inside, allowing for better movement of air in the space so less electricity is needed to pump air in the room, making it more environmentally friendly. As the weather gets hotter, why not create a geodesic dome of your own using newspaper and tape. Your newspaper igloo could be for yourself or for a pet and the size is completely up to you.

Step by step

Step 1

First, separate the sheets of a couple of newspapers. You may need multiple newspapers plus extra if you want to cover the outside too.

Step 2

Roll the sheets on the short side (long if you wanted a larger dome) into a cylindrical shape. Tape or staple this together at the ends. See picture above for help.

Step 3

Make two more in the same way and connect them using tape at each end to create an equilateral triangle (a triangle in which all three sides are equal).

Step 4

Now, make multiple triangles by adding on rolls until you have a patterned shape. See picture above for help.

Step 5

Once your shape is large enough you can start moulding it and pushing it upwards to create a dome. You might need a parent’s help for this, ask them to place something heavy on one of the edges or tape it together.

Step 6

Share it! Your newspaper igloo should be ready. You could also cover each triangle with a layer of newspaper to create a solid enclosure. Test to see if the structure holds up well and make sure to upload a photograph of yourself inside the igloo, we’d love to see how you got on!

:scale is an architecture platform that aims to provide a collaborative space for designers to experiment, share and grow their skills. The archi-community is a core part of the ethos at :scale and we strongly believe in exchanging tips, building skills and engaging with fellow students from around the world. Some key areas we focus on include productivity, software and a balanced lifestyle as an architecture student.

Our current project is a digital magazine publication where we have worked with various architecture students from around the world. Collectively, we question the role of community within the built environment. We want to give a voice to our community and allow for opinions, stories and themes to be shared freely.

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