I am not a big fan of the great outdoors. Past experiences have led me to believe the feeling is mutual, just based on the mosquito bites alone. But misery loves company, so this past weekend I suffered through a walloping allergy attack, which is finally wearing its way out of my system. I remember being conscious on Saturday, but I can’t say for certain what might have actually happened. Oddly enough the Benadryl on Sunday actually made the world less hazy.
(Side note: As that was my birthday weekend, I’m definitely having a Second Birthday later in the year.)
While an allergy attack of that magnitude only happens every few years, each time is a reminder of my desire for someone to enclose and condition the outdoors. Although I do tend to have that thought every summer as well. And would that be too much to ask? Just a nice little bubble conditioned to around 75 degrees so I could go outside and not just dissolve, with maybe a filter to help pull the pollen out of the air.
And I’m not the first person to have that thought. I stumbled across an article recently talking about Buckminster Fuller’s idea to place a geodesic dome over Manhattan. As in New York. A two-mile diameter dome centered at Forty-Second Street to help regulate the climate and energy use. Am I the only one picturing the dome from The Simpsons Movie?
Not to mention that New York at the time wasn’t the cleanest city. Thirty-two garbage incinerators were operated by the city along with an additional 17,000 running in apartment buildings, snowing ash down on neighborhoods. Smog at times so bad residents of the city were dying. Yet somehow building a dome over part of Manhattan was a good idea? Where would all the pollution go?
The other image to pop into my head – aside from the Simpsons – was me in the back seat of my great-grandparents’ car trekking across Texas on one of many road trips. Does anyone else recall looking out a car window at landscape made hazy by cigarette smoke? That’s what I would imagine for those not fortunate enough to live in Fuller’s dome.
Not that I’m poo-pooing a nice climate-controlled environment or domes altogether. At this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, French architecture firm Coldefy is displaying designs for a single-domed greenhouse that would span over 215,000 square feet along the Opal Coast. Pretty amazing, and I would love to see the designs in person.
The greenhouse is set to be completed in 2024 and house a tropical forest, complete with orchids, butterflies, and other fauna. Except to achieve that means heating the space to around 83 degrees. I start sweating at 75.
However, I might go one day just to marvel at the architecture and technology. I’ll just be sure to dress appropriately and who knows? Maybe wondering around there for a bit might bring me a little closer to nature; a little more in tune with the great outdoors.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go throw in some more allergy eyedrops.