If you've ever wanted to channel your inner Buckminster Fuller and construct a geodesic dome but didn't know how, you may well be in luck. hubs promises to make building an open geodesic dome quick and easy, with construction time rated as under an hour. Its creators cite possible uses for the dome as a garden room, aviary, chicken run, children's den, and more.
The idea for the rather niche product came about when Chris Jordan built his own geodesic dome on his allotment using discarded fence posts, string, and a large jig. The process was something of a slog, and he decided there was a place on the market for an easier method. Four years later, Jordan and business partners Mike Paisley and David Brickwood are nearing the end of development on hubs.
Reminiscent of the children's toy K'Nex, hubs is actually pretty simple and comprises a central plastic hub and ball joints. You screw the ball joints into some suitable sticks and they snap into the hub, six at a time. Using this system, the creators reckon you can build a geodesic dome within an hour, or even in 20 minutes following some practice – no tools required. You can get creative too, and an igloo-like entrance can also be added to the dome.
"With hubs you simply snap it together from the inside out (you can also build from the outside in) and the dome grows up out of the ground," explains the team. "To raise the basic structure takes 10-15 minutes, when you know what you’re doing, and under a bit of direction from us two children built their dome in 25-30 mins. Once the dome is up you can lock the hubs tight to fix the position. "
Jordan and his partners also designed hubs mini, which follows the same principle as its larger counterpart but uses straws instead of wood. This smaller model seems more suited to kids or for mocking up ideas. Both large and small hubs are in the prototype stage, and the creators aim to bring them to production.
On this note, hubs was recently the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Assuming all goes well, it should be heading into production early next year. A full kit, which will include enough hand-split chestnut sticks to create a 4-m (13-ft)-diameter open dome, is expected to retail at £450 (roughly US$700). Pre-orders will soon be open on the website below.
Product page: hubs