Tag: Guided Growth

Pentagonal Oranges 2
Designed-by-Evolution

Pentagonal Orange

After the Modernistic Watermelon and the Cubic Fruit, Japanese farmers have designed the pentagon-shaped orange. These citrus fruits called Gokaku no Iyokan, which means “sweet smell of success in exams”, were given as a good luck charm for students in the upcoming entrance exam season in Yawatahama, Ehime.

Flat sided fruits seem to have some positive aspects: they are easier to put into a box or in the refrigerator than round fruits, and their peculiarity could encourage people to eat them, arousing curiosity. We guess in the near future more fruit varieties will develop angles!

Source: Daily Mail

heart
Augmented-Bodies

First Completely Artificial Heart Transplant

Another breakthrough in the fusion of the made and the born: the world’s first completely artificial heart was recently transplanted in France in a patient nearing the end of his life.

Lithium-battery powered and self-regulating, the heart mimics the human organ like no other device. It is made from soft biomaterials and functions with the aid of a multitude of sensors designed to copy every little detail of a real beating heart, explain its chief engineers Alain Carpentier and Philippe Pouletty. This transplant is a significant moment for regenerative medicine, representing the first viable alternative to a real transplanted heart.

Read more on RT

mushroom packaging
Guided Growth

Mushrooms to Grow Surfboards, Shoes, and Even Your House

Gather mushroom spores, grow them in a mold with agricultural waste, and you’ve just created the newest alternative to toxic styrofoam packing. The mushroom enthusiasts over at Ecovative have figured out a way to harness the abilities of mushroom root systems, called mycelium, to bind together organic substrates. By drying these mushroomy matrixes, Ecovative can create a material that’s strong, lightweight, and most importantly, cost-competitive with petroleum-based packaging. The company hopes to branch out into shoes, surfboards, furniture and building materials. A house that sprouts shiitakes and chanterelles is just a nice side benefit.

Read the full story over at Architect’s Newspaper.

MeatFlower__530
Food Technology

Care for a Meat Flower Amuse?

While vegetarian food products typically mimic existing meat products, the meat flower reverses this principle: In vitro technology is used to grow meat in the shape of a flower.

The Meat Flower is illustrative for the diminishing of borders between ‘meat’ and ‘vegetarian’ due to emerging technology: although the cultured meat is grown from animal cells, no animals are hurt and injured in the process.

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bird nest in new york
Dynamic-architecture

Living Among Pests – Designing the Biosynthetic City

Biosynthetic design is usually discussed at the scale of the individual product. But the city – itself a mixture of synthetic interventions within biological systems – can be considered a more complex piece of biosynthetic design. Conversations in urban planning have moved away from blunt engineering and the evisceration of species to serve human convenience, towards balanced management and co-existence. Joyce Hwang discusses the challenges for designers, and gains for citizens, of living in a truly biosynthetic city. 

This essay originally appeared in Volume magazine #35. Get your copy here

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arne_hendriks_portrait_s
Hypernature

Interview: Arne Hendriks, Researcher and “Father” of The Incredible Shrinking Man

The next guest in our interview series is Arne Hendriks, Dutch artist, exhibition maker, researcher and historian. He teaches at the Next Nature Lab of the Technical University in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Hendriks’s activity explores the positive transformative power of creative impulses and the importance of fundamental free scientific research. In his speculative design research, the strange and the familiar continuously swap places to provoke conflicting perspectives.

His investigation The Incredible Shrinking Man, that proposes to reduce the human species to a height of 50 cm, where individuals would only need about 2% of what is consumed today, is nominated for the Dutch Design Award, in the category Future Concept  – competing with the NANO Supermarket, among others.

Waiting for the winners announce, in late October, we talked with Arne Hendriks about the possible benefits of shrinking, technology, trust and a thorny issues for which he asked for our readers advice.

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east-river-blueway
Dynamic-architecture

New York Preps for Climate Change by Building New Wetlands

A lot of planners give lip service to preparing for higher seas, stronger storms, and hotter summers, but in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York is putting its money where its mouth is. The city is considering creating new land in the East River, or constructing Dutch-style floodgates to hold back storms. From a next nature perspective, however, the most interesting proposal is the East River Blueway.

In an effort that restores some of the primeval feel of what was once the lush island of Mannahatta, the Blueway aims to create a series of wetlands and beaches that would absorb the tidal surges from future hurricanes. Lest this sound like another utopian vision, the city has already raised $8 million to revitalize a 4-mile stretch on Manhattan’s east side, and plans to grow a similar “soft edge” at Coney Island. Now that New York no longer needs its waterfront for industry or shipping, it might be time to let (artificial) nature return.

Story via Gizmodo. Picture via Inhabitat.

Rachel Armstrong
Guided Growth

Interview: Rachel Armstrong, Innovative Scientist Who Wants to Grow Architecture

The next guest in our interview series is Dr. Rachel Armstrong, interdisciplinary practitioner and sustainability innovator. Armstrong’s work uses all manners of media to engage audiences and bring them into contact with the latest advances in science and their real potential through the inventive applications of technology, to address some of the biggest problems facing the world today. She designs solutions for the built and natural environment using advanced new technologies and smart chemistry.

You may know Armstrong from her essay Self-Repairing Architecture and her research in living architecture and protocell technology, a new material that possess some of the properties of living systems and can be manipulated to grow architecture.

We recently talked with Rachel Armstrong about living buildings, Venice’s foundations, millennial nature and how to improve our future.

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Biomimicmarketing

How to Grow a Beer Bottle

Over the years we have seen quite a few growing bottles, ranging from the classic Orangina bottle, to a bottle you can peel like a piece of fruit, to growing Heinz ketchup bottles. Yet, arguably, this growing beer bottle is the weirdest we have seen so far.

Apparently the biomimic-marketeers wanted to promote an all natural beer, so they envisioned a futuristic scenario in which beer bottles grow straight from the hop plants. Although any sufficiently technology will be indistinguishable from nature, we doubt that we will still drink beer from bottles by the time we are capable of such advanced guided growth. It is interesting, still, that a so-called natural beer is now marketed by portraying an utterly technological process.

Thanks to Alice for the heads-up.