Usually, when we?re heading into the desert, it?s for frozen margaritas and outlet shopping. But we?ve happened on a sandy destination that?s stimulating our do-gooder impulses: Cal-Earth.
This seven-acre encampment 100 miles east of Los Angeles is a village of domed structures that resemble something a Middle Eastern bedouin might call home. But it?s the testing ground for prototype homeless shelters--the life?s work of the late architect Nader Khalili.
Iranian-born Khalili built skyscrapers in Los Angeles and taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture early in his career. But during a trip through the Iranian desert in the ?70s, he envisioned housing that could be made by needy peoples using what they have at hand. The result was his Superadobe structure, a dome made from oblong plastic bags filled with dirt and stabilized with barbed wire. Today Superadobes dot the grounds of Cal-Earth.
We?re not sure we can get a permit, but we?re thinking a Superadobe might just be the place for visiting in-laws over the holidays.
Cal Earth, 10177 Baldy Ln., Hesperia; 760-956-7533 or calearth.org