Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Living Flora Building Art... 
    Above Titled Elven City by Bezduch
Sylvari Thick Leaf Homes

Heroes Tears The Elf Fortress by Razwit

By Tyler Edlin



Pendelhaven by Philip Straub

By Oum BBae


By Krystian Ĺšlusarz maybe











By Bless

Ellesmera Forest City by Fred Gambino @ http://www.fredgambino.co.uk/

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Living Examples of Architectural Flora (L.E.A.F.)


A group from M.I.T. has a concept above, also shared with others, called the FabTreeHab which proposes people help grow buildings with advanced arborsmithing, or the training of tree trunks and branches into structures, using a trait inherent in some flora called “pleaching” that allows branches to unify and share plasmodesma effectively creating living structures akin to walls, roofs and floors.
Perhaps there is one “better”.  Imagine being able to create a living genetic blueprint for a massive living leaf structure…  The knowledge of plant genetics would need to be extensive incorporating the genetics of every type of flora + fungus in existence.  There is also the idea that cultures throughout the world need/want specific genetic characteristics that would help tailor structures to specific local environmental pressures and cultural tastes which might be offered in the form of leaflets or plantlets that could grow into buildings adapted to said needs/wants.

Once a living flora structure was grown to the necessary specifications its growth could stop at the genetic level and it could produce genetic blueprints in plantlets or provide nourishment.  The walls, roof, and floor could be a  genetic composite of the longest lasting flora in existence.  A unified genetically “pleached” branch or huge evergreen Colocasia leaves might serve as a roof depending on how much insulation was needed. The Fenestraria rhopalophylla has leaf portions like little windows which could be genetically engineered to form, gray or semi-translucent windows or other structures that would allow light in while bioluminescence could sustain the photosynthetic process and give light as needed.  Genetically engineered cotton pods or cork pads stemming from the interior might be used as bedding and padding for floors and seats. Tables and chairs could be grown directly from the walls and floor.  Rain water could be collected from the roof and drain down through hollow corn, reed stems to the roots below. The roots might be genetically engineered in the shape of upside down mushroom caps that might "cup" and collect liquid, moisture, and dissolved soil nutrients to provide maximum absorption of said nutrients via nitrogen fixating bacteria residing within the giant, upside down, fungus like root cups that might be many hundred miles in length like single winter rye or bigger with the right genetic modifications... 

Active transport and osmosis to a pitcher plant like receptacle would be feasible.  With the help of each individual a collection could be made of every plant known, and those  to be discovered, to genetically engineer into the makeup of living flora structures a nourishing liquid food source in case one was ever in need of nourishment.  This liquid ambrosia, formed from the matrix of nutrients in grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits that have sustained life might be further improved using a genetic matrix specifically designed for the individual at the genetic level to provide the most efficient veganic drink in existence.  And with the genetics of flora like the sensitivity plant and prayer plant perhaps this living flora bioluminescent fungus superstructure network could move a juice filled pitcher plant directly to the individual on the plants own accord.

With the genetic information of all flora one could have a food and oxygen producing shelter that could live over 80,000 years like the root system of the quaking aspen or over 200,000 years like a Mediterranean sea grass and could grow to functionality rapidly using kudzu DNA which grows a foot a day or seaweed  which can grow two to four feet a day maybe more (if the right environmental conditions and nutrient medium was used).  Other structures could be made too like redwood-baobab-mangroves or nitrogen fixating edible fruit producing tumbleweeds.  The skies the limit.

This idea has been elaborated on before by authors Jack Vance, John Christopher, Dan Simmons, Michael Swanwick, Donald Moffitt, Brian Aldiss and Larry Niven to varying degrees plus The Orion's Arm Universe Project Norwoods online.   I am wondering how to further these ideas so if one has ideas, comments or suggestions to share please email.  Anthonydcrain@outlook.com