Way back in the early 1920s, German designer Walther Bauersfeld envisioned and constructed the first Geodesic Dome. But it took Buckminster Fuller’s mind and hand to make the iconic structure an actual icon of design-science engineering.
Fuller worked as a teacher at the experimental Black Mountain College in Western North Carolina. There, he found that a series of interlocking icosahedrons, three-dimensional structures based around triangles, created an almost infinitely strong structure.
The design seemed to be used everywhere. It was even the basic structure of Buckminsterfullerene or bucky-balls, a spherical molecule.
The dome has even inspired a possibly revolutionary attempt to create improvised and durable structures.
At its core, Pneumocell is an individual module made rigid with air. When an individual cell starts to converge with another, a spontaneous living space is created.
In a spectacular example of biomimesis, Pneumocell was designed with inspiration from single-cell organisms, soap bubbles, berries, and the bodies of insect larvae. The connection with all of these is the individual cell or the pneu—alone, it’s not much of anything, but it is the building block to whole organisms.
Just think of what we could do with Pneumocell. Collections of them could be used for quick shelters in the event of a natural disaster. The military could deploy arrangements of pneumocells to project and house soldiers. We could even use them as temporary or permanent homes. We could live where we never thought we could before. The pneumocell can be adapted to just about every environment, so why not choose to live in a nest-like structure? What do you want your pneumocell structure to look like?