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Min-A-Max

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  • Erik Smits
    I hate to ask Eric Hunting a stupid question, but did Min-A-Max go out of business? I assume they had, since I can t find them online. Also, is there some
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 17, 2008
      I hate to ask Eric Hunting a stupid question, but did Min-A-Max go out of business? I assume they had, since I can't find them online. Also, is there some other company that is utilizing their building technology? I was fascinated by their architectures, it looked promising for a wide array of applications, especially for arcologies. I think Buckminster Fuller would have been proud of them..... Erik

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    • Eric Hunting
      The company that was founded by Min-A-Max inventor and architect Peter Pearce did go out of business, shortly after the completion of the Biosphere II project.
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 19, 2008
        The company that was founded by Min-A-Max inventor and architect Peter
        Pearce did go out of business, shortly after the completion of the
        Biosphere II project. In the few conversations I had with him he
        blamed it on the rise of Post-Modernist design but it looks more like
        a consequence of the fact that he and his own projects were the
        primary customers for the company and no one designer is likely to
        generate enough business to keep a manufacturing operation working -a
        very common business mistake among the many past modular building
        system inventors. He later resorted to have parts manufactured on
        demand by aircraft fabrication shops, which worked well to supply his
        own projects. I've heard nothing of his latest works. He seems to have
        been concentrating more on teaching at a university in California.
        Last i heard he had been working on a Min-A-Max home for his family in
        southern California and had run into some trouble with one of those
        notorious community aesthetics committees. I never found out if it was
        built or not.

        It was a very promising building technology but really needed the
        cultivation of an industrial ecology around it -as I'd hoped the FMF
        might have been able to accomplish. You can't build an industry on
        magazine architecture. On-demand production for such components is
        still a little behind the curve so a lot of other people have to be
        doing all kinds of things with such a system to justify its mass
        production and drive costs down to facilitate ubiquity. However, all
        plate or ball socket node space frame systems are capable of Min-A-Max
        geometry and there's really nothing to stop anyone from using the
        system non-commercially -even if that's still expensive. In fact, it
        does not appear that Pearce ever really documented or patented any
        specific panel designs, attachment components for them, cladding
        systems, or infrastructure components. Just the general geometric
        system and frame plate node design. Most of his Min-A-Max buildings
        have used other off-the-shelf cladding and commercial decking systems
        adapted case-by-case to the geometry.

        I still think there's much potential for such space frame systems at
        large scales. I've grown less keen on the technology for smaller
        structures, now favoring the T-slot based post and beam frame
        technology I've generically dubbed UtiliHab. With that one already has
        an established global industry whose components -though currently
        still mostly designed for industrial automation applications- can be
        readily repurposed and at least three competitive product lines
        specific to housing. (Jeriko House, TomaTech, iT House, and maybe KIT
        Haus -though it's not true T-slot)

        Eric Hunting
        erichunting@...



        On Feb 18, 2008, at 11:58 AM, Luf-team@yahoogroups.com wrote:

        > Min-A-Max
        > Posted by: "Erik Smits" knightofni67@... knightofni67Sun Feb
        > 17, 2008 6:30 pm (PST)

        > I hate to ask Eric Hunting a stupid question, but did Min-A-Max go
        > out of business? I assume they had, since I can't find them online.
        > Also, is there some other company that is utilizing their building
        > technology? I was fascinated by their architectures, it looked
        > promising for a wide array of applications, especially for
        > arcologies. I think Buckminster Fuller would have been proud of
        > them..... Erik
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