The Icopod, a cabin alternative, landed at Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping and our campers were fascinated. Check out Mackinaw's only Icopod and reserve it now!
"If we must live in a world in which people are forced to live in cardboard boxes, then someone should at least invent a better box." - Sanford Ponder
About The Icopod
Created to address the need for dignified and humane housing for victims of disasters and the homeless, this temporary cardboard enclosure is treated to last approximately 5 years. The Icopod is designed to be insulated, fire resistant and to pass natural light to the inside. About the size of a medium sized tent, tt measures 10 feet wall to wall and stands 12 feet tall.
Scores of people were left homeless by the 2004 Sumatra Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Dennis in 2005. This new idea for a humanitarian housing solution couldn't have come at a more perfect time. In fact, the Icopod was voted as invention of the year by Time Magazine in 2004 and has been used by Doctors Without Borders in Kashmir to help aid earthquake victims.
Testing The Icopod
In the summer of 2005, Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping was accepted as a beta testing partner by Icosa Village to test the Icopod in Northern Michigan. As beta testing partners, we helped the Icopod designers to make the "Pod" better by passing on our comments and the comments of our "Pod Campers."
Beta testing partners pay for the cost of the Icopod and it's installation fees, which include the construction of a base and our addition of electricity, a small fridge, microwave and inside lighting. To defray these costs for the test, our campers were able to rent the Icopod as a camping shelter. Guests who stayed in the Icopod had the opportunity to pass on their comments and suggestions to help Folded Home (formerly Icosa Village) make the Icopod even better.
Our Icopod, though remaining cozy, had a problem with the sealing tape not sticking. We chose to not install the optional vents on the top of the POD (as a precaution to keep wind blown rain from entering the Icopod). The lack of vents did make the Icopod stuffy in hot weather, though the walls did provide insulation against hot and cold weather. We had a period of extremely heavy rains and damp weather during the summer of 2005 and that in combination with the problem with the sealing tape destroyed our Icopod.
Although it remained standing, and habitable, the walls were visibly weakened and began to bow and swell. A testament to the geometric structure, the Icopod, even in this weakened state, was still extremely strong and cozy.
The Results Are In
Shortly after we acquired our Icopod, the designers changed materials for the Icopod to a recyclable plastic. This addressed the problem that they (and we) found arising in humid, damp climates where the cardboard inner walls would become damp and weaken. In addition, they changed the type of sealing/adhesive tape on the exterior to one that is used to patch windsurfer sales.
In 2006 we received a brand new, updated model of the Icopod. The updated version of the Icopod looked identical to it's predecessor, but was created from waterproof recyclable materials. Our new Icopod features a ceiling fan and vents that make the pod comfortable in a much wider range of temperatures and humidities. See a slideshow of the Icopod Assembly.
Download a PDF of the sign that was posted in front of the Icopod: Icopod Sign.
The Icopod - A Concept Imagined
(source: Icosa Village)
In the 1940s, R. Buckminster Fuller applied his design and engineering expertise to invent a geodesic structure that could serve as an inexpensive alternative to traditional homes. Using a series of triangular networks, Fuller's design creates a self-supporting structure with no internal reinforcement. Proponents of the Fuller geodesic model believe that it is still the most efficient and cost-effective construction technique available.
In 1959 R. B. Fuller was granted a patent for a "paperboard dome." The Pod™, based on a patent-pending design, is inventor and Icosa Village founder Sanford Ponder's improvement to Mr. Fuller's original paperboard dome concept. It replaces Fuller's single-walled folded dome with a much more rigid double-walled structure. The Pod™ is constructed by folding many identical sheets of precision die-cut material together to form an icosahedron-shaped structure. By using a simple icosahedron (a shape being comprised of all equilateral triangles) as the basic structural shape, the Icosa Village Pod™ is much simpler to produce and assemble than a traditional rounded dome shelters.
In 2001, while viewing a program about the homeless living in cardboard boxes, Sanford Ponder had an epiphany. In what he called "a moment of indignation" he reflected, "If we must live in a world in which people are forced to live in cardboard boxes, then someone should at least invent a better box." Sanford set out to do just that. Inspired by the pioneering work of R. Buckminster Fuller, Sanford developed the basic and completely unique design for the Pod shelters. He spent the next two years perfecting the design for practical use.
You can get your own Icopod or a dependable inexpensive Tek Yurt from Folded Homes. Their mission is focused on helping address the humanitarian shelter crisis.