Grow Your Own Furniture

In his wonderful 1954 story The Houses of Iszm, Jack Vance writes about house trees which also contained furniture that grew along with the house:

The sphincter expanded and Farr stepped dubiously into the chamber…the pod was thirty feet long, opening on a balcony with a waist-high balustrade. The walls and domed ceiling were tufted with trefoils of a silky green fibre; the floor was heavy with plum-coloured moss; quaint lamps grew out of the wall. There were four magenta pod-chairs against one wall. In the middle of the floor stood a tall cylindrical vase containing water, plants and black dancing eels.
(Read more about Vance's house trees)

Christopher Castle can help you grow your own furniture. On his site, he provides you with the templates and instructions to grow your own stools.


(Sycamore frame ready for harvesting, next to a finished stool)

He can provide you with the easily assembled "jig" which is used to train three young saplings planted just so. It takes about five years for the sapling "whips" to be shaped, grafted and grown to make the stool.

He writes:

Growing furniture isn't going to save the planet, but it can be used to demonstrate that it is possible to create genuinely useful things without adding to the pollution that industry inevitably seems to produce. Trees are self-generating, and grown wooden products need only the energy that the sun gives everywhere. It's free and it's non-polluting. Training and grafting trees as they grow are established traditional crafts, and wood is durable but it's also biodegradable, so it doesn't have to end up in a hole in the ground. I call this Grownup furniture as it's the result of mature thinking.

Don't miss these unusual botanical specimens:

  • Robotany Bonzai Robot
    Bizarre ambient robot sculpture using shape memory alloy wire.
  • Fungus Devours CDs
    You thought you had enough to worry about - now there's a fungus that consumes CDs, metal and all.
Check out his technique at Grown Furniture.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/12/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Lifestyle ")

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?' - John Varley, 1977.

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Americans! Stay Indoors To Save Energy
'Those funny old days, when men went for change of air instead of changing the air in their rooms!' - EM Forster, 1909.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.