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Could you grow a house?

Could you print a scaffold in the shape of a house, and then use the same techniques discussed in Anthony Atala's TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/anthony_atala_printing_a_human_kidney.html to coat the scaffold with tree cells? Possibly spraying it on as seen on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXO_ApjKPaI

Keeping the structure alive would of course require a root structure. Perhaps one that already exist, or one that is fabricated in a similar manner. Imagine durable, self sustained, self repairing, eco friendly structures.


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  • Nov 11 2012: If your definition of a house is somewhere comfortable to live, then throughout history nature has provided many a person a house.
    • Nov 11 2012: Yes but currently most people are provided with shelter by taking from nature. I would prefer a more symbiotic relationship. Not many people are living in caves, igloos, or dung huts anymore. The world population and economy is growing by leaps and bounds. People who go from third to first world status will put a higher demand on the environment. However crude this idea may start out, there are clever people who could refine the methods used for construction. Technology is not just about nanobots and such anymore. Today there are several biohacker hacker spaces. Biohackers are thinking of a future where living cells are a part of our everyday lives. From bio-luminescent lighting to the fusion of the living and the electronic. There are already many species that coexist with nature in such a way that they could not live without each other. A relationship built on nurturing each other. Imagine a house that would grow leaves in the summer allowing the house to stay cooler. A house capable of providing shelter for several hundred years with little maintenance. Nature has provided us with so much, but will we eventually outpace nature?

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