innovation | January 03, 2013

Mitchell Joachim: How To Grow A Living Treehouse [VIDEO]

Mitchell Joachim wants to change the building profession using innovative new building technologies. What does that mean, exactly? One of his projects, for example, uses ficus wrapped around geometric structures to create a living, breathing treehouse. Instead of constructing buildings in various locations and shipping the materials from site-to-site, Joachim decided to conceptualize a model whereby the architecture is a part of the ecosystem around it. In the case of his treehouse, the structure actually grows into a new form without ever leaving its original location. In this video, the TED Fellow and partner at Planetary ONE explains how he created a building that was completely integrated with the world around it.

While he says he and his team are not the inventors of the living treehouse, they do specialize in controlling the way that the tree grows and forms into a building. By weaving ficus around geometric structures, the plant eventually hardens when exposed to air and then becomes a solid building. However, Joachim explains that the problem with this type of construction process is that building regulations and insurance are not equipped to deal with it as the form is constantly changing—something that is not a common concern with a traditional building. Currently, he and his team are working to create forms that meet building regulations while still being sustainable creations that reduce their environmental impact in new and exciting ways. In his lectures, he challenges his audience to consider new ways of urban planning that will dramatically transform the way we live.

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business strategy | January 02, 2013