Under geodesic skies: a cultural perspective on the former South Pole Dome and geodesic domes in outer space

Miranda Nieboer, Craig William McCormack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Antarctica is considered as an analogue for extra-terrestrial environments. Architecture located within these milieus exists in the realm of biopolitics, a term that denotes a certain power or control over life, necessary in such inhospitable conditions. The geodesic dome has featured at the South Pole and in outer space as an architecture and an architectural typology, both built and speculated upon, referring to “closed-world” environments. The geodesic dome, closely associated with architect, Buckminster Fuller, is a manifestation of ecological thinking that reached beyond terrestrial boundaries. Fuller’s theories altered the way in which humankind’s physiological relationship to the world and to space was understood. This paper considers the geodesic domes of outer space and on the South Pole from an architectural and cultural perspective, informed by architectural analysis and interpretive studies of written and visual resources. It explores the relationship between the speculative geodesic domes in outer space and the built terrestrial geodesic domes, specifically the former South Pole Dome in Antarctica. Connections between the domes in the two environments are explored through Fuller’s thinking and appropriated cultural layering. This research expands our understanding of the intersection of biopolitics and geodesic domes in Antarctica and outer space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-373
Number of pages23
JournalPolar Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


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