Etymology of a Dream
Michael was 15 years old when he first laid eyes on a geodesic dome home located in Cambellford, Ontario. He had no idea these types of homes existed, and in that moment his love affair with these highly irregular and unique structures began.
When Michael and I first met, one of his first probing questions was asking if I would mind living in a geodesic dome home. I hadn’t heard of such a thing, and in that moment I was introduced to what a geodesic dome home was.
I agreed, as the idea of living in a home completely opposite of the typical cookie cutter homes built today, appealed to me.
So Here We Are
Michael and I are now at the chapter in our lives where we will begin building his dream geodesic dome home. It is exciting for me to sit back and watch Michael design his dream house, that is now our shared dream home. His creativity, his ability to think outside everything ‘normal’ when designing a home, is inspiring.
We match up well when we consult, as my desire with building a home is creating completely unique and functional spaces. Open spaces without clutter. Open spaces that show me everything – because out of site, is out of mind for me. Every detail matters.
Including the details of my understanding of geodesic dome homes.
Let’s Begin With Plato & Platonic Solids
Plato, an ancient Athenian philosopher/mathematician from Greece, included Platonic solids throughout his philosophy, and is the root of the Platonic namesake. He associated the four elements of nature – earth, air, water and fire with one of the solids. Earth connects to the cube . Air connects to the octahedron, water connects to the icosahedron, and fire with tetrahedron.¹ The fifth solid, dodecahedron, connects to “…the god used [it] for arranging the constellations on the whole heaven”.²
What Are Platonic Solids?
Britannica defines Platonic solids as “..any of the five geometric solids whose faces are all identical, regular polygons meeting at the same three-dimensional angles. Also known as the five regular polyhedra, they consist of the tetrahedron (or pyramid), cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron.” ³
So, my next question is, what is a regular polygon and a polyhedra?
Regular Polygon – Simple English Wikipedia says, “A regular polygon is a polygon which is both equilateral (which means all its sides have the same length) and equiangular (which means that all its angles are the same)“.⁴
Polyhedra – Wolfram MathWorld says, “In geometry, a polyhedron is simply a three-dimensional solid which consists of a collection of polygons, usually joined at their edges.”⁵
So, if I understand this information correctly, Platonic solids are three-dimensional solids and their sides lengths and angles are the same.
According to Michael, the five Platonic Solids are also the shapes of dice in the popular Dungeon and Dragons game.
Cube, Octahedron, Icosahedron, Tetrahedron & Dodecahedron
Let me introduce you to the five words Michael has been talking to me about since he started designing our home. Sacred Geometry, the Golden Rectangle and the Language of God has also been a part of these conversations, but I’m not going that deep into my understanding of domes!
A tetrahedron has four sides.
A cube/hexahedron has six sides.
An octahedron has eight sides.
A dodecahedron has twelve sides.
An icosahedron has twenty sides.
Which Solid When Building a Geodesic Dome Home?
Michael has been researching, designing and building dome structures since he was 15 years old. He claims that almost all domes are based on the icosahedron, because that solid has the most sides – most faces to start with – so is easier to extrapolate a rounder shape.
Conclusion – Chapter 1
So, there it is! What have I learned so far? I’ve learned that a Platonic solid is a three dimensional polyhedra whose sides are equal in length, and whose angles are the same. The best, and by far the most commonly used solid for the structural foundation of dome homes, is the icosahedron.
The next chapter in my blog series on building a geodesic dome home is understanding the importance of dome frequencies!
- 1 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_solid
- 2 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_solid
- 3 – https://www.britannica.com/science/Platonic-solid
- 4 – https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_polygon
- 5 – https://mathworld.wolfram.com/Polyhedron.html
Building A Geodesic Dome Home Series:
- Chapter I – Five Platonic Solids & Dome Homes
- Chapter II – Dome Frequencies
- Chapter III – Balancing Form & Function – The Important First Step Of Turning a 3 Frequency Icosahedron Into a Geodesic Dome Home
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