design squad shoot 2-17-09
Max is a kid who thinks big. When he saw the Trash to Treasure design contest at By Kids For Kids, he knew he could come up with an idea. Since he as really young, he's been active in designing and developing solutions. "If you have the ability to help people, then you have the responsibility to help people" was a phrase I heard him say several times during our day.

One of the prizes for winning the contest was that he got to spend the day working with the professional designers and fabricators at an industrial design firm with offices around the world. They have worked with the PBS tv show Design Squad, and host Nate Ball came by to check on Max's progress and see the workshops.

At Continuum, they specialize in bringing out the ideas of other people. Sometimes, their clients don't know exactly what they need or what to expect. The staff of creative types, engineers and craftsmen are skilled at testing lots of ideas and helping select the best.

Max's original idea was developed as a scale model with the materials he had on hand. Trash bags from the kitchen cabinet, coat hangers from his closet came together to make a structure that was influenced by the building styles of yurts. Together with the crew from Continuum, he was able to use and develop techniques to build a full size model of his dome. The dome is based on the work of R. Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic dome, but they came up with a relatively new technique of making each panel a cell, rather than using the traditional hub and spoke design. For the sheathing material, they used thick plastic sealed at the edges with a heat strip. The center of the panels is filled with packing peanuts, making for a very well insulated structure.
Here is a link to the blog entry I wrote for MAKE:

Video from the day:
314 photos · 558 views
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