Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spotlight: O2 Treehouse Crew

Dustin Feider Bio

Since the age of three, Dustin has been climbing anything in his path, counters, walls, trees, and the even the occasional mountain. Growing up, he was enthralled with 3D fabrication and design and was constantly building new projects for either school or his own enjoyment. As a teenager, he became heavily involved with Odyssey of the Mind, an international educational program in which students apply their creativity to solve problems ranging from mechanical design to literary interpretation, serving to further strengthen and support his creative drive and problem-solving skills.

A few years down the road, while attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, he became aware of and inspired by sustainable practices such as permaculture, laying the groundwork for a new pathway in which concern the future of our planet would play a large role in many of his design decisions. It was only natural that shortly after receiving his B.F.A. in Furniture Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005 he started O2 Treehouse and began building sustainable geodesic dome treehouses, merging his creative problem solving skills with his passion for eco-friendly design and love of vertical living.

The first O2 structure was a 1,200 pound geodesic sphere built in Pewaukee, WI, made of 100% recycled materials, and suspended from a cable support system designed not to harm the tree in any way. The O2 Treehouse mission was and still to inspire humanity to reconsider how we can more harmlessly co-exist with nature, and to date they have built over twenty sustainable structures at various sites across the United States. While most of these structures have been custom builds, O2 Treehouse recently expanded their offerings to include modular Geodesic Sphere Kits. These magical Geo Spheres act as arenas for fostering creativity and reflection, and seek to to hold this common ground with other Geo-enhanced organizations as part of a collaborative network of community building gathering spaces.

Dustin feels grateful everyday that he has been given the amazing opportunity to educate on sustainable design while installing Geo Spheres at schools, urban gardens, non-profits, cooperatives, and other neighborhood enriching organizations. His vision for the future? Building a network of global eco-tourist treehouse camps, designed to support local economies while protecting and preserving endangered forests, and with them one of the keys to our collective future.

Mark Lavin Bio
For his third birthday, Mark’s grandmother gave him a construction set for making toy buildings. By age six, he was building cities that touched the ceiling of his bedroom in Woodland Hills, California. Traveling to places such as Israel and London in his teens, Mark discovered the potentials of community-centered cultures. Hiking and canoeing the national parks of the Southwest as a Boy Scout, he found wonder in the beauty, spiritual power and sustaining connectedness of the natural world. With a growing self awareness, he began reflecting on the magical moments of his life and recognized his life mission; helping to create a world where people, nature, and community were celebrated.
He has followed that mission throughout his life, and in recent years, Mark has gained both a Permaculture Design Certificate and Masters Degree from the SoCal Institute of Architecture. In 2010, Mark designed, built, and/or consulted on 11 structures, including the Red Lightning Sacred Village, geodesic treehouses in collaboration with O2 Treehouse, and several other geodesic sphere sculptures that have been displayed all over the L.A. art scene. He is currently working closely with collaborators in both Los Angeles and San Francisco to design and build visionary multifunctional structures that beneficially weave human habitation and ecological function, with the vision that these structures will help carry us through the cultural, environmental and political crises and into a new paradigm.

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