Monday, January 04, 2010

Pacific Rim Economics

I followed up on my meeting with Buzz by meeting with the company president he'd been telling me about. I learned a lot about polyethalene (PE) as applied to billboards.

Even as a shelter skin, PE sheets might be colorized. I was thinking of "Big Map" applications such as were used in World Games, but optionally foldable into giant globes, geoscopes. Wouldn't schools like to have these?

Whereas Jay Baldwin used Tefzel (DuPont) to make a skin of transparent argon-gas-filled pillows, PE fabrics are more readily translucent. I don't know if PE pillows would even work.

This company has experience selling through, has maybe 3000 employees in China alone, a headquarters in Dallas.

Although PE has a reputation for being slow to biodegrade, more recent products make it more eco-friendly. It's better than PVC at any rate, also used in dome shelter solutions.

I reminded Buzz that most domical domiciles to date had missed including the garden. The actual dwelling, where the furniture is placed, might be more like a movie set, given the containing free span shell already provides a controlled environment, shelter from the elements.

Autonomous living unit, 1949
Buckminster Fuller
© Buckminster Fuller Institute

Internally, the division of living space into floors and rooms has nothing to do with holding up a roof.

These were not immediate concerns of our metal rods and PE company however, which was casting about for agricultural applications, such as equipment warehouses, gazebos, auxiliary structures.

I went back to my old list of dome manufacturers on the Way Back Machine, looking for still-going concerns.

Various solutions have been tried at this scale.