Sign Up Early for SB'24 San Diego and Save! Spring Rate Ends June 23rd.

Product, Service & Design Innovation
Dome Sweet Dome:
Geoship’s ‘Livingry’ Model Aims to Reconnect Home and Nature

Geoship’s bioceramic, climate-resilient dome villages offer a glimpse into a new model of zero-carbon community living and a future-proof world built through regenerative architecture.

In a technologically evolving world, a planet in crisis and people more disconnected from the natural world than ever, it was only a matter of time before designers found a way to offer a new way of living that both reconnects us with nature and protects it.

The housing and construction industry accounts for nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions, with manufacture of building materials accounting for 11 percent of this. We’ve also found ourselves in a vicious circle of having our homes destroyed by climate change-related weather events, and then replacing them with more through the same, unsustainable practices.

There is also the issue of home affordability — 74 percent of average US wage earners are unable to afford one; so, it’s no wonder there’s no end in sight to the homelessness crisis.

Geoship — a California-based homebuilding cooperative — is presenting a new architectural paradigm. Combining new material science and geometry, it offers an alternative model to conventional housing in the form of bioceramic domes. The startup plans to build multiple dome villages and automated microfactories throughout the US and around the world.

The domes are highly resilient to extreme weather, which is likely to become more frequent over the next few years. They are fireproof, flood-proof, and hurricane- and earthquake-resistant, providing a “livingry” refuge that will protect both people and their homes in an increasingly climate-changed world.

“Resiliency is a key part of Geoship. We wanted to build homes that aren't going to be affected by natural calamities,” CEO and founder Morgan Bierschenk told Sustainable Brands™. “When you don’t have to rebuild houses every 50 or 100 years, it has environmental benefits and also encourages intergenerational wealth.’

The domes themselves — inspired by Buckminster Fuller and leading physicist and materials researcher Rustum Roy — are centered around geodesic geometry, bioceramic chemistry and technological advancements. Bioceramic is what makes the domes so resistant — it is like cement but with water activation that cures at room temperature, forming molecular bonds created with nearly all natural materials.

3D-printed molds form the monolithic, geometric structures. The kits for the domes themselves can be installed and finished within 2-6 days, reducing construction time by months or even years when compared to a conventional house. The domes, now available for pre-order, are set to cost $30,000 for a studio dome, and $100,000 for a family dome. After installation, foundation and the necessary mechanical systems, the domes will end up costing around 50 percent more, standing at $45k for a studio dome, and $150k for a family dome — still a fraction of the price of a conventional house.

In addition to their resilience and affordability, the domes will offer a new way of life centered on nature, community and healing whilst also safeguarding the earth.

“The big vision is to essentially build villages that help people reconnect with the natural world — living in harmony not only with ecosystems but also with the people in your life and yourself,” Bierschenk explained. “We want to rebuild the urban interface with villages designed to create a harmonious energy flow pattern, restoring nature’s geodesic grid system.”

The villages aim to do this by offering people a community to join: Geoship is a multi-stakeholder cooperative, with a ‘profit-for-all’ model to be shared and governed by homebuyers, investors, workers and other earth stewards — all working together in the form of a liquid democracy.

“It’s designed on a basis of trust between these groups — a perpetual, purpose-driven model distributing ownership. To have one person, one vote — instead of, whoever bought the most shares has the loudest voice,” Bierschenk said.

Geoship has also teamed up with Zappos and the City Repair Project to create transitional villages for the homeless that will offer an opportunity to be part of the profit-for-all cooperative.

“The transitional village is a place to unplug from the high-intensity city environment and reconnect with community and the natural world,” Bierschenk said. “It’s a cultural place of self-stabilizing and self-regulating patterns — a place where a person can learn more about what it means to be a participant, engaged in a big picture that includes them.”

Bierschenk further explained that Zappos has been working on a new paradigm of employment, with the transitional villages following a similar approach. Currently, a job is created and then a person is hired to fit that role — an approach that needs updating.

“With the rise of the semantic web and the rise of artificial intelligence, it will become easier for companies to craft jobs that bring out the best in the human instead of creating a bunch of jobs and then trying to fit people into them,” Bierschenk said. “This is the approach we are taking with the transitional villages — a lot of people go through homelessness because they may not fit inside the current model of society. This is an opportunity to redesign society in a way that supports the whole human being.”

Regenerative villages such as these could offer a future-proof, new community model in our increasingly challenged world. We must reconsider what it means to go back to nature and how we can restore our relationship with our planet and the people on it.

Geoship just completed installation of its first bioceramic dome and has begun a public equity-based fundraising campaign to begin manufacturing. As the domes are launched, we will get a glimpse into a new world built through regenerative architecture.