Grow your own

while wasting away the last days of my long hard christmas holiday i thought i'd catch up on some light entertainment from the beeb. After watching the hilariously funny new series of newswipe by charlie brooker, this caught my eye, How the earth made us.

it was quite interesting,although it did seem like it was recycling examples of phenomena better explored in the david attenborough series life, and the presenter seemed only to be able to express things in one tone, with his voice rising to a particular note of emotionless exclamation at the end of every sentence without fail. ANYWAY, there were however a quite a few epic examples of pretty amazing places, some of which are here....

In the first episode,
'deep earth' , iain stewart explored this huge cave of massive crystals that looks like somethign out of a lebbeus woods sketch, and i really do mean MASSIVE....

The crystals formed because the conditions in the cave were so extreme,  "for millennia the crystals thrived in the cave's extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals' growth"

Something later on in the program, in episode two. 'water', led me to think about how this could be used in architectural terms. in India, villagers have learned to lead the growth of a trees roots into the shape of a bridge. the tree grows stronger over time and will not rot like other wood would. so could the crystals potentially be manipulated in a similar way into the shape of a building?or a bridge?they certainly looked strong enough to me. the applications of manipulating the living environment for our own benefits are endless, and of course completely zero-carbon and renewable.should we maybe be thinking about slowing down the pace of modern life and putting our efforts into something more permanent like an entire community built out of living trees?it would allow the owner/client to really decide exactly what their own abode looks like as well, you could simply grow your own. As we move into more hostile environments, ie other planets (yes i know, fantasising somewhat), we could grow entire cities made out of crystal just out of the minerals available..

This all reminded me of a couple of posts i found on BLDGBLOG sometime last year during Geoff Manaugh's 'underground' phase,  one about a project of a student at the bartlett and its applications, called The bioluminescent metropolis. and another about a large underground lake underneath budapest, which sadly the video for has been taken down, heres the link anyhow. At the time i thought it would be interesting to combine the two and create a huge underground bioluminescent culture, could this be present in the cave of crystals?it would be beautiful if it was possible.

There was another slightly more down to earth (or up?) reference during the program which i thought was interesting. In cambodia whole communities function on the tonle sap lake, and the river that feeds it. Its about halfway through this video.communities like this could be used as a blueprint for the way we deal with situations that would increasingly arise in the future. Or with disaster zones, for instance just after the new orleans flood, whole temporary communities could of been relatively easily erected to float on the water..
Anyways thats enough for now, i did notice that on bbc Iplayer the film perfume was available. based on the book by patrick suskind, its pretty good and if you get a chance to watch it then do. I did my first design project at brookes based around the main character and his lust for smell, which i will upload one day..

Posted by Joe of the Giddings variety.

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