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Artbound

Of Earth and Domes: Hesperia's Cal-Earth Sustainable Architecture

 
Artbound's editorial team has reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. After putting two articles up for a vote, the audience chose this article to be made into a short-format documentary.

The California Institute of Earth Architecture or Cal-Earth appears like some alien subdivision dropped out from space into one of those ubiquitous cookie-cutter suburban starter home communities in the urbanized southwestern Mojave Desert. To reach the Cal-Earth training/test site in Hesperia, one must first past through several streets of nearly identical homes with virtually the same SUV parked in front. When I looked for it, I felt lost amid these cookie cutter homes, but then suddenly, the Cal-Earth complex emerged with its array of exotic beehive-like adobe domes behind a chain-link fence. The juxtaposition of these strange structures against the backdrop of the recently-built suburban homes makes the Cal-Earth dwellings seem, at first glance, out of place, but after closer inspection they begin to appear completely natural in this arid environment. Then like a camera adjusting its focus, the generic tract homes surrounding them seem out of place with the desert.

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