The hexayurt is an update on Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome and is a sturdy, affordable, easy-to-build temporary shelter. The geometry has been adjusted slightly to make it easier to build domes from materials like plywood, insulation, plastic, cardboard and more. The hexayurts are made from only one kind of triangle: an 8' x 8' isosceles triangle, rather than the strangely-shaped triangles which are standard for Fuller-style geodesic domes. They are not strictly geodesic, either, but it doesn't seem to matter much in practice. The slightly stiff, angular lines look a lot like any other dome.
The most common place to see hexayurts is at Burning Man. The first one was built there in 2003, and was only a little bigger than a tent. There now range in size from 50 to nearly 500 square feet. A typical year at Burning Man will see a hundred or so of the silver huts lined up on the playa.
(photo by tonx
The design is public domain and build-it-yourself. People using the shelter for Burning Man usually buy the materials (about $300) ahead of time, including mail ordering the hard-to-find extra wide tape which is used to hold the shelter together. It takes about a day's worth of effort to cut out the roof pieces, playa-proof the edges and do a test assembly. Putting the hexayurt together on the playa typically takes a small group of people about two hours and can be a struggle if there is wind or a dust storm which coats all the pieces in a fine layer of tape-defeating dust.
The joy of the thing is a building which stays relatively cool in the desert. The shiny surface of the hexayurt reflects away a lot of the sun's heat, and a mix of pump sprays, swamp coolers and even the occasional air conditioner make the inside quite habitable even in the middle of the day when tents are far too hot for comfort. There are lots of plans and instructional videos on the Hexayurt web site, and handy people seem to have little difficulty putting them up.
A few simpler units, made from plywood, have been tested by local charities in Sri Lanka and Haiti. The jury is still out on whether this shelter will be useful beyond recreational use in the desert, but field trials are underway.
-- Howard Rheingold and Vinay Gupta
Free, public domain plans
Model papercraft Hexayurts PDF
Don't forget to comment over at Cool Tools.
And remember to submit a tool!
This smallish portable USB charger from Kmashi is rated at 5000mAh and is on sale now for $8.38 when you use promo code: PIRVWBWG on Amazon. I have a few different Kmashi chargers, and have used them for over a year with good results.
The flashlights in our household have a tendency to wander off. Where do they go? I gave my last remaining one to my daughter for a camping trip, so I just reordered an 8-pack of metal LED flashlights for $14. Each flashlight has 9 LEDs and uses 3 AAA cells (included, though some reviewers on […]
Unlike a multimeter, this battery tester isn’t battery powered. Instead, it measures the voltage across the terminals of 9V, AA, AAA, C, D and 1.5V button type batteries. It’s also easier to use than multimeter probes. It’s only $6.61 on Amazon and has a 4.5 star rating with over 1500 reviews.
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.