Wednesday, April 7, 2010

dymaxion earth

This is Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion Map of the Earth

this is an electric cutter
Question. Do I write this blog in a slanted way, to encourage people to support this project? Should I act like everything is running along smoothly and I am having no roadblocks thrown at me at every corner? Or do I write it completely transparently and show all the difficulties and challenges I am facing along with the minor victories?

I'll go with the honest approach.

Project managing a project with no funding is not sustainable. I have not been able to work my regular job in two months. I am neglecting my health issues and basic survival to get this project done. Yesterday, walking to go pick up the truck, I was feeling like, what am I doing? Am I crazy? Do I think it's up to me to do the job a hundred NGO's and government organizations ought to be doing? I feel a little insane to be doing this with no funding.
There is a vague promise of funding on the horizon from Can do, but that is really phase two of this project. I am still trying to complete phase one. Ten domes by May 1st. This project will not quit, there is no way I am giving up now.

Also, I have help, but I need more help. I can't concurrently do the million things that need to happen on this project for it's success. I am getting some help. Brett, for example. Yesterday I went to where he works as a factory manager in the garment district to cut out the prototype. I borrowed Clyde and drove him to midtown. Clyde is Elizabeth's truck.
He is as strong as an ox and white like the white buffalo.

I am having some difficulty with this pattern, there are too many pieces which means too many seams which makes it not cost effective. It's composed of 5 pentagons connecting to form the sides and one pentagon on top with 10 equilateral triangles filling in on the top and sides, connecting the pentagons. We have a beautiful pattern that Catie made for us to my specs. It's gorgeous. But it has too many pieces to make it easily manufactured.

Brett with his boss Pat who kindly allowed us to utilize his factory for DOMES FOR HAITI

I had the same feeling while cutting out the pattern that I had when we were cutting and pressing and drilling the pipes for the first frame.
This is taking too long! That was my feeling, of being overwhelmed with the enormity of the task at hand. But I know that before when I had it, it was a temporary feeling, and now the whole job of fabricating the metal for the ten domes is being handled by professionals.
I know I can get the same thing for the covers. I just need a better design so that the manufacturer's see it as an easy task, one that they can do for free.

I am looking at the dymaxion earth model from buckminster fuller. I think I can adapt it to a dome cover pattern by cutting off the parts that complete the sphere. It looks do-able, I just need the measurements.

So now I have all the parts for one dome cut out, but I want to change the pattern to make it more cost effective. Do I go ahead and fabricate the cover we cut out anyway, just to have one finished to show people? But if it's not the pattern we are going to use anyway, isnt my time better spent perfecting the pattern? Why show people a prototype that wont ultimately be used for the project? Or do I go ahead and build it just to show progress?
I think I should just build the thing and work on a new design at the same time with my extra arms i had transplanted on my body last week.

I wrote an email to Asha at Pacific Domes asking her if she would lend me her pattern for a 2 frequency 17' dome. She has not responded.

smudge is the resident cat at the factory
I got a quote from a place upstate called "We Make Tents" that they could do the seaming for ten domes for 2,800 bucks. But that doesn't include the cutting. As we found out yesterday, the cutting is HARD to do even with all the tools in a factory. The table was not big enough, our pieces of vinyl were not big enough either. We had to cut out some of the pentagons in two halves. Same with the triangles. Recycling pieces of vinyl is not easy either. It's unruly as hell, nothing is the same size. It's not like rolling out a nice roll of fabric that you can zip snip zoom. No. It's horrible but true that most people that could recycle tons of materials dont because it is not time or cost effective. That is totally effed up.

Edwardo is a skilled cutter, he did a great job! Thanks!!

I am not going to pretend that this project is the product of a master genius project manager that waves her wand and things happen. It aint like that. I get baffled. There are things happening that I cant report on this blog. There are major set backs threatening us, but I dont want to write about it, because it might turn out a false alarm.

I am determined, however.

As I have not had any time to write grants or even complete a budget for this one, I am starting to think I may be able to complete all ten domes for virtually no money.
Donations are still trickling in, thanks Jen! My sister donated very generously to support this project. She lives in Alaska. Shout out to AK from BK!!

Bugz from Mutual Aid for Disaster Relief is putting together some tool drives to get the tools we need to send with the dome kits. That is a load off my mind. Please contact us if you'd like to donate tools, we have a quote from Pintchik Hardware for some cheap prices on the tools we requested. We are setting up a way for people to go buy tools from them at discounted rates. More later on that. Thanks Bugz!

Also from MADR we have been promised 2 airline ticket vouchers for myself and one crew member to travel to Haiti. I have to tell them the dates soon to insure we get them in time.
This is bluffing at a very high level. If I tell the airline companies the dates now, when i dont even know who is going to be fabricating the covers, or if my shipper has canceled on the project, it's a vote of confidence in myself and in this project's success. I've been saying May 1st all along, and I do think I can get them built by then, but it takes 18 days to ship them, (if our shipper isn't bailing on us, more on this later) so that means I ought to reserve the tickets for May 18th so I can be there in PaP to receive the domes.

Doing this project has required many leaps of faith for me. Imagine if anyone of the companies or organizations that have promised me their assistance to complete any one crucial aspect, suddenly changed their minds and backed out? One puzzle piece falling through the cracks like that could mean failure for the whole project. It really takes everyone's contribution to complete it. I am forced to trust virtual strangers that they will indeed do the thing they promised to do. This is stressful.

Turtle & Hughes delivered 3500 ft of conduit pipe to Laidman Fabrication this morning. They will be completing the dome frames by next week. This is a major victory and a huge load off my mind.

We'll be needing mad volunteers for the color coding, sorting and packing of the domes frames next week. If you want to make yourself available for that, please email me at

Brett Lord, my savior and superhero
is putting together a benefit for the 23rd of April. We will let you know the details soon.....

Jessi Klein is going to be donating some proceeds of a fashion show/event she is creating for the 17th of April at 3rd Ward. We will be setting up the dome there for people to see.
more on that later.....

Funds we need: We need to bring at least 1,000 bucks to Haiti with us to hire people to prep sites. We could find volunteers to do this work, but we want to bring money into their economy intentionally. We also need funds to get the ten domes fabricated. It is going to be a rush job to get them all done in time.

I must complete phase one of this project to look to phase two. Stay focused. get shit done.

over and out. thanks for reading!

We need your financial support, whoever is reading this. Yes, you. Please donate today!

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