The Living Tree House

Can you imagine the ultimate in environmentally friendly housing? What if it is housing that never leaves nature?

(On 300 acres between Williamsburg and DUMBO)

Harvard graduate, MIT PhD, and now NYU professor Mitchell Joachim is working on environmentally friendly ways for us to live.

"I think we are in a bit of a crisis when it comes to the climate," Joachim says. "The way we make buildings today has to change.

One of his ideas is the living tree house.

"We don't chop the tree down. We move into the tree and we surround ourselves with woody plants and vines that help control the local geometry of a home," Joachim says.

Blending biology and architecture, scientists are genetically modifying wood to grow it in the shape of a house that allows people to live on the inside and animals to live on the outside.

SF legend Jack Vance described an entire planetary culture dedicated to the creation of housing that is grown by living trees in his 1954 novel The Houses of Iszm:

...[There were] houses with buttressed pods for the high-gravity worlds of Cleo 8 and Martinon's Fort, and loose complex houses with pods like balloons for Fei, where gravity was only half that of Iszm. There were trees comprised of a central columnar trunk and four vast leaves, arching out and over to the ground to form four domed halls illuminated by the pale green transmitted light. There was a tough-trunked tree supporting a single turretlike pod, with lanceolate foliage spiking outward at the base: a watch-tower for the feuding tribesmen of Eta Scorpionis.

Via MyFoxNY.

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