earth lander provides low cost, efficient housing for those in need
earth lander provides low cost, efficient housing for those in need earth lander provides low cost, efficient housing for those in need
feb 26, 2015

earth lander provides low cost, efficient housing for those in need

earth lander provides low cost, efficient housing for those in need 




the ‘earth lander’ is an attempt to provide an economical solution for those in need by combining ready-made items with architectural thinking. an affordable, effective homeless shelter; the form uses inter-connected umbrellas to create a geodesic dome. the design is efficient spatially and thermally, and the objects create a structurally secure water and wind-resistant skin. air-filled garbage bags and a space blanket lining help to insulate and retain heat resulting in an internal space that is completely protected and sealed from exterior conditions.

prototype: experimenting with geometry and structure

the structure uses umbrellas to create a geodesic dome

a bottom section is connected to the dome by solder and hinged along an aluminium cylinder

hinging motion can be done by one person

space blanket insulation and inflatable window

umbrella handles anchor the bottom cushion to the ground

the umbrellas were altered, but retain their structural integrity

an ‘earth-lander’ inhabitant looks out of an inflatable window


construction process and connection between umbrellas

creating inflatable windows

orthographic drawing of the project




designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

  • I know that tower anywhere. Thanks for posting about student projects at my Alma-mater!!!

    Also, I love umbrella structures, so I double love this housing solution! If you’ve ever been to Ithaca you know how many umbrellas get ruined. I’m happy to see their skeletons in use!

    Heather says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
491,190 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample