A Tech Entrepreneur Rehabs an Off-Grid Dome Home in Joshua Tree

A tech entrepreneur goes off the grid and learns to work with his hands as he remakes a geodesic dome in the California desert.

When Sam Friedman sold his parking app, ParkMe, in 2016, he found himself at a creative crossroads. As the Los Angeles tech developer pondered his next venture, a friend told him about a unique property near Joshua Tree that had just come on the market, "unique" being the operative word. Previously owned by a pair of Canadian physicists—who also happened to be nudists—it encompassed 112 acres and featured an abandoned 1,600-square-foot geodesic dome crowned by a faceted skylight. That the site had no water or power only heightened its allure. Sam put in a cash offer. "It was weird," he admits. "But I was up for a challenge."

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