... As an ethnographer of this actual Harbin Conference Center, it's occurred to me recently to actually be at the Conference Center while I write about it, in the 'now,' so as to 'rif' with it and my experience of this building and its spaces and beauty (these blog entries also refer to the Conference Center: http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/search/label/Harbin%20Domes, some written while within the Conference Center), both with (perhaps at a dance and a workshop) and without other people present, as a new kind of anthropological, participant-observation method.
The bubble-shaped Harbin Domes are an ephemeral vision up on the hillside, across the valley, and a little paradise with two warm pools, which are also not geothermally heated. When there, the bubble domes surround the two lovely pools. The Dome area is quiet and serene, and the sand-colored Domes are light and pleasant to be among. The 4-5 (?) Domes themselves circle around the backside of the 2 pools, allowing for far-reaching views down and across the Harbin valley, when in the park-like enclosed space of the Domes. The Domes have an alternative feeling - a kind of hippie space, for alternative living. One rectangular room is built on top of the tallest Dome, and seems to be a kind of room a hippy could look off into the distance from, colorful towels and art hanging out the windows. There's also a community kitchen here – which feels a little like a youth hostels. And the bas-relief swirls both on the outside of the Domes, and in the rooms themselves add to the bubble-like, rounded, moving, hippy, organic, hot springs' retreat center sense of the place. The Dome rooms are for rent as guest rooms. A few years ago, ownership and operation of the Domes transferred back to Heart Consciousness Church from the School of Shiatsu and Massage, for better management, I think. In the long parking lot, many solar panels act also as car ports. There is also a little smoking canopy-tent. As a Watsu School, and a place for workshops, the relatively small Dome complex is intimate and relaxed, facilitating the further creative development and teaching of Watsu (water shiatsu).
The cobb and bale Harbin Temple, or straw bale and mud hippie heyima, with a wonderful roof of spiraling, curved beams, lovely ocher, cosmic floor, and swervy walls, both outside and inside was built around 2005 in Mainside. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2011/03/bubble-shaped-harbin-domes-are.html - March 15, 2011)