Some of you may look upon trees as villains after our shocking exposé on the subject, but it turns out that scientists can cultivate trees to bend their branches to our will. Using the technique of aeroponics — growing plants exclusively in air, like tropical hanging orchids — a company called Plantware hopes to build homes like the one pictured above. Plantware's vision melds arborsculpture with architecture, giving us a whole new spin on green technology. What's in it for the trees? Well, they get to survive in our fast-growing industrialized world, and we get to lie back in their sheltering arms and enjoy our wind-powered laptops.According to an article in Thursday's Daily Mail, Plantware CEO Gordon E. Glaze wants us living like this before another decade passes:
Mr Glaze, 38, together with his two partners Yael Stav, 35 and Yaniv Naftaly, 35 have spent the past ten years developing and perfecting the science of aeroponics to the stage where Gordon believes that real life 'tree-house' could be possible within ten years. 'At a cellular level we can tell the tree how to grow to a template. This means that we can now mass produce roots and trees in an industrial building level, like steel girders. 'We can create a living building material now that enables you to cast trees like they are cement,' Glaze said.
The Plantware crew has already pioneered their ideas in building smaller-scale structures, like bus stops and park benches. After an initial period of supported growth, the trees bend into their desired shapes and remain sturdy yet flexible. For more complex buildings like houses, Plantware's ideas run deeper; they've designed environmental measures like air circulation through leaves, gravity plumbing (hoo boy), and a composting vat. And they haven't left aesthetics or practicality out of the equation.
Mr Glaze said they would be ecologically responsible by matching tree-homes to their environment. So British tree-dwellers would live in sturdy oak or willow homes and those in California could have giant American redwood pads.
Well, that does sound fantastic. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on whether this cellular-level aeroponic manipulation can make trees flame-retardant. Returning to our roots: Scientists claim they will grow tree homes in a decade [Daily Mail Online]