This is part of a series of blog posts introducing you to our 2022 Build A Better Future scholarship recipients and their projects. We hope you will find their stories as inspiring as we do! For information on our scholarship, click here.
The first scholarship recipient I would like to highlight is Christian Duckworth and his project: Foldable Dome Homes. Christian was first made aware of homelessness when, as a boy scout, he was invited to help cook breakfast at a local homeless shelter. He was so moved by that experience that he later dedicated his Eagle Scout project to renovating the Light of Life Rescue Mission, which is the largest homeless shelter in Pittsburgh. Through his Eagle Scout project, he developed close and long-standing relationships with many of the employees and residents of the shelter.
When Christian became President of the Technology Student Association during his freshman year of high school, he was able to start exploring sustainable housing technologies, even winning several architectural and robotics design competitions in the process. Christian used his knowledge of the homeless community and his skills with architectural design to create the environmentally-friendly Foldable Dome Home.
In Christian’s own words, “Inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, the Foldable Dome Home is highly livable, highly space and energy efficient, and highly efficient to assemble, disassemble, and transport. In just 254 square feet, it provides over 10 amenities in its service core (full bathroom with sink/toilet/shower, sleeping loft for two people, stove, microwave, kitchen sink, refrigerator, washer/dryer, HVAC unit, flat-screen TV, and storage), 23 square feet of solar panels, and LEED certification. When disassembled, one entire home fits inside an 8’6” cube, which allows six homes to be transported on one 51-foot-long flatbed trailer.”
Christian’s prototype included a description of the materials used as well as explanations for why those materials were chosen. It also contains several different floor plans, a map of the plumbing and electrical systems, and assembly instructions.
Christian will be attending Carnegie Mellon University where he has been accepted into their School of Architecture. He will use resources there to help build a working prototype of his design and he hopes to attain property from the city of Pittsburgh where he can set up the homes. Once built, he plans to invite residents from the Light of Life Rescue Mission to stay in the homes and provide feedback. As he continues to make improvements to his design, he wants to collaborate with homeless shelters in other cities to test his prototype under different environmental conditions. Ultimately, he wants to identify manufacturers that would be interested in mass producing the Foldable Dome Home so it can be used to combat homelessness on a global level.