a blast from the past 1979 or so...a time not unlike now...

The pictures are on my blog at www.zippyflounder.com

After working in the boat business as a tool maker and then later in the graphic arts business I ended up in a dental lab to learn lost wax investment casting. I was also reading a great deal about Buckminster Fuller as well as Jung and the result was the Sanctuary. In the late 70’s hot tubs and spas were just becoming the thing to have in your home, starting the new trend of remodeling the bathroom to make it a home spa. Kohler had introduced the Environment a built in unit that was just big enough for 1 person that had “rain, wind, sun and music”. The Environment was hugely expensive costing over $25,000 (in 1979!) but it was making some sales.

Jung had a theory about return to the womb, and Fuller had shown that a sphere was the most space efficient and energy efficient shape, so I decided to see what they might do in combination while all providing of the features of the Kohler unit. The result was the Sanctuary, an 8’ sphere that was self contained, for use outdoors and ran off a single 115 volt supply. This system removed the need for remodeling, wiring, and plumbing. The unit was constructed of a vacuumed formed acrylic inner and outer skin with 4 inches of poly urethane foam giving its super insulation and allowing it to be used any where. Among its feature it had heat lamps, sun lamps, hot air, steam, reading lights, and stereo system all run by a remote control. The Sanctuary also had a full width redwood loft large enough for 2 and seating for up to 6 on the lower level giving it far more utility than the Kohler unit. The Sanctuary also had a very unique feature that keyed into it’s out door installation a polarized sky light. This skylight allow for the one guaranteed great view no matter where you lived, city, country, or suburbia and that view is straight up. The polarization allowed people to control the amount of light into the Sanctuary from opaque to transparent with unlimited steps in-between so you could have it full dark in the day, or see the stars at night. The skylight also guaranteed privacy as the spherical shape made it very difficult to climb onto.

The prototype was built and tested; people loved it showing that Jung may have been right. The ability to adjust the internal environment was empowering as well as the shape seemed calming. It was a great place to relax in solitude or entertain a few close friends. It could operate much like a Finnish sauna in the winter time and the cooling systems allowed for enjoyable use even on the hottest days of summer. The relaxing effect was so dynamic that after tying it a clinical psychologist requested its use in testing. The tests, using EEG, and ECG showed that just sitting in the Sanctuary increased the production of theta waves over and above expectation as well as lower heart rate and blood pressure. The product also showed very well at trade shows and numerous dealer inquires were fielded. We built a business plan, the first one for me but an experience that would be valuable over the years. Patents were applied for and granted so it appeared all was in place. The plan was good; the financials made great sense however timing could not have been worse with the Arab oil embargo, stagflation and the prime rate up to 20%. We could never get the working capital to go into production and so the project was abandoned even though year’s later people still talk about it

Que the funk music! I’m waiting for George Clinton to step out of it. Zippy Flounder, you are my new hero. Oh to experience the Las Vegas Spa and Sauna show circa 1979. Priceless.

ya we hired some "models’ and my partner took one “home” then found out that it was a bit expensive and not coverd by the modeling fees.

Awesome. Trade shows haven’t changed much!

nope and i miss them…need to get back into the “chit” as the marines say lol.

Here’s our 2008 CES booth for the Boomchair gaming chairs we make.

way cool, now can you use a old war horse like me? You know a sactuary using a projection system and a built in chair would be a MONDO gaming system…a personal i max.

We’ve had people pitch us similar concepts, but the problem is that the 40 year old virgin is a small niche market. :wink:


I’m agreeing that the plan was good, and it can’t be abandoned to the past blast production. It was the effect that has an ability to test in the environment. In the home cooling system, I really like that it was the enjoyable use, and I wanted to try the basement dehumidifier to take an advantage in the cooling system. SEO Services