Grow Your Own Furniture
In his wonderful 1954 story The Houses of Iszm, Jack Vance writes about house trees which also contained furniture that grew along with the house:
The sphincter expanded and Farr stepped dubiously into the chamber…the pod was thirty feet long, opening on a balcony with a waist-high balustrade. The walls and domed ceiling were tufted with trefoils of a silky green fibre; the floor was heavy with plum-coloured moss; quaint lamps grew out of the wall. There were four magenta pod-chairs against one wall. In the middle of the floor stood a tall cylindrical vase containing water, plants and black dancing eels.
(Read more about Vance's house trees)
Christopher Castle can help you grow your own furniture. On his site, he provides you with the templates and instructions to grow your own stools.
(Sycamore frame ready for harvesting, next to a finished stool)
He can provide you with the easily assembled "jig" which is used to train three young saplings planted just so. It takes about five years for the sapling "whips" to be shaped, grafted and grown to make the stool.
Growing furniture isn't going to save the planet, but it can be used to demonstrate that it is possible to create genuinely useful things without adding to the pollution that industry inevitably seems to produce. Trees are self-generating, and grown wooden products need only the energy that the sun gives everywhere. It's free and it's non-polluting. Training and grafting trees as they grow are established traditional crafts, and wood is durable but it's also biodegradable, so it doesn't have to end up in a hole in the ground. I call this Grownup furniture as it's the result of mature thinking.
Don't miss these unusual botanical specimens:
Check out his technique at Grown Furniture.
- Robotany Bonzai Robot
Bizarre ambient robot sculpture using shape memory alloy wire.
- Fungus Devours CDs
You thought you had enough to worry about - now there's a fungus that consumes CDs, metal and all.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/12/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'
Americans! Stay Indoors To Save Energy
'Those funny old days, when men went for change of air instead of changing the air in their rooms!' - EM Forster, 1909.
Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction, that's what they are.
Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'
SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.
RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!
MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...
MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!
UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.
Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!
Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.
Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'
Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.
Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.
Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories