2: Domes in popular culture

 So, Domes are obviously way cool, but does popular culture think so too?

* Bob the Builder does: http://www.bobthebuilder.com/ca/english/flash/activities/Stories14.swf

In the BBC children’s television show Bob the Builder, Bob enters a competition to win a contract to develop Sunflower Valley – a nearby wilderness that he used to roam as a kid. We see some of Bob’s home movie footage – a younger, barefoot, unkempt tie-dye wearing Bob camping and enjoying the great outdoors. Bob’s competition is an architect who wants to plonk casinos, malls, high rises and motels onto the valley, which slightly perturbs Bob.

The theme for the Sunflower Valley run of episodes is Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and it very heavy-handedly impresses these throughout the cycle. One of the architectural innovations and sustainable practices Bob implements is a geodesic dome, though sadly the dome is not exactly explained for its amazing properties per se as other sustainable practices are. Definitely a missed opportunity for educating the next generation of dome-dwellers.

* Disney does:


In the Disney movie Cars, the resident hippie in Radiator Springs is a stoner Kombi Van named Fillmore, whose fluoro psychedelically painted dome houses an alternative fuel still. This is classic dome-as-hippie icon, and even though the dome doesn’t feature heavily as a plot device, its striking colors and architecture is at sharp variance to the rest of Radiator Springs.

I’ve seen a dome in an episode of sci-fi Firefly, in the sci-horror Resident Evil 2, and of course the  terribad 1996 Biodome movie. In fact, if ever Hollywood filmmakers want to impress the viewer with a government/scientific temporary lab or research outpost – a fabric skinned dome is the way to go… They project a sense of futurism, of mystery and high-tech government or military materiel, made out of…material. This echoes the interest that the military had in Buckminster Fuller’s domes.




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