A design for a geodesic dome could allow for affordable rooftop aquaponics.
Ever since R. Buckminster Fuller popularized the design in the mid-20th century, there's been something captivating about the geodesic dome. While the structure typically makes architecture lovers salivate, now it's conquering the heart of another type of urbanist: the city farmer. A new dome-based prototype promises an affordable method of rooftop aquaculture for apartment and commercial buildings—as the website calls it, getting "fish from the sky."
The Globe / Hedron bamboo dome would house an aquaponics system—a mini-ecosystem in which plants clean the water where fish swim and fish waste fertilizes the plants—capable of feeding 16 people year-round. The unique structure of the dome, designed by Conceptual Devices, would support the weight of the fish tank, enabling installation on flat roofs without adapting the structure of the building. The design firm is partnering with Zurich-based group UrbanFarmers, which developed the aqauponic technology, and they're currently fundraising on indiegogo to get the project off the ground.
The project's creators promise a harvest of 400 kilograms (about 880 pounds) worth of vegetables and 100 kilograms (about 220 pounds) of fish each year, including everything from tomatoes to spinach to trout. Panels on the dome's exterior would provide both shade and insulation, allowing the the structure to adapt to local environments, while the compact size and easy assembly would enable it to be shipped around the world.