re: refried domes
10 jun 1997
j. michael rowland wrote:
>thanks, dennis johnson, for forwarding me lloyd kahn's "refried domes" story
>of his personal disenchantment.
you might also enjoy steve baer's 40 page dome cookbook, 5th edition, 1996,
from trial and error/p o box 1327/corrales, nm 87048. some quotes:
is the cube as they say "dead," or is it instead another type of
life form that with its characteristic rectilinear grid is slowly
taking over the planet like some kind of galactic impetigo? is my
discussion already hopelessly compromised, lying as it does on
rectangular sheets of paper? i can not answer these questions...
these are instructions on how to almost break out of prison. the prison
is the paucity of shapes to which we have in the past confined ourselves
because of our technology-industry-education-economy...
make the faces stiff enough so that you can jump up and down anywhere
on any one of them without it giving...
car tops are a good building material. they are cheap, strong, have
an excellent paint job and are available almost everywhere... most tops
taken off a car with an axe will be between 45 and 52 inches wide and
50 to 70 inches long; a station wagon will give as much as 8 feet and
a van or mini-bus even more. an experienced man with a good axe can easily
chop 5 or 6 tops an hour, and when the cars are packed close together
so you don't have to touch ground you can go faster than this... power saws
with carborundum blades, electric unishears, electric nibblers, acetylene
torches, pneumatic chisels all of these will take tops off. the advantage
of using an axe is that it's cheap and after some practice it can become
a real pleasure to chop the top out of a car.
chop along the sides first then the front and back. throw open the doors--
one foot on an open door and one foot on the car is a good stance for
chopping the sides...
recently mandel bell and i rented an air compressor, marked off the shapes
we needed right on the cars and then cut them out easily with a pneumatic
chisel. cutting the trimmed shapes right out of the junk yard eliminated
at least two thirds of the work in the previous routine. it also meant
we could haul twice as many tops in a load...
at drop city we couldn't get the second-to-last pentagon in. we took
a day off. during this day a very strong chinook wind blew, the continual
working of the building in this strong wind must have cooked the whole
structure because the next morning the pentagon dropped right into place...
a zonahedron is a convex polyhedron all of whose faces are zonagons and
a zonagon is a polygon whose sides are in equal and parallel pairs. zonagons
can be stretched to form different shapes without altering angles... the
first man to work with zonahedra was the russian crystallographer federov...
more recently zonahedra have been investigated by p. donchian who predicted
that they were 3d projections of four dimensional figures--this has now been
proved. i first read of zonahedra in h. s. m. coxeter's excellent book
regular polytopes and in his contribution to w. w. rouse ball's book
mathematical recreations & essays... any zonahedron can be dissected into
1/6xn(n-1)(n-2) parallelepipeds... one for every 3 of the n directions.
these volumes are easy to calculate--so the total volume is also easy...
a rhombic dodecahedron and an exploded rhombic dodecahedron. in this case
it has been exploded just as far as the edge lengths of the diamonds. in
this picture all the zones are the same length and they are also equal
to the explosion a=b=c=d=e. fused cluster of exploded rhombic dodecahedra.
the zones have been stretched different lengths and the entire cluster is
cut by the plane of the floor. these are zomes...
i have made huge nets of rubber bands and strings. i first did this on the
wooden attic floor of my wife's grandmother's house in switzerland. during
the same time audrey and i were experimenting with blowing soap bubbles...
in the book 20th century engineering there is a picture of a planetarium
built in germany in 1922--it has the form of a multifrequency geodesic dome.
who invented this form? i don't believe it was buckminster fuller...
i bought fuller's untitled epic poem on industrialization in london
oct 1963. i had never heard of fuller and didn't know what the strange
looking structure was on the cover. i believe this is the best book fuller
has written. i have reread it many times... as i read it i felt as if my
mind were learning to swim. does anyone else understand the world so well
as fuller--if so why can't the rest of us sing about it as he can?