Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Organic Architect

PostedNovember 6, 2016

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Organic Architect

Date: May 17, 2015

 

Anchor Lede: You probably haven’t thought that the typical chair needs reinventing, but that’s one of many projects at a unique non-profit focused on smart urban structures.

Randy Atkins: The design group Terreform One wants to make cities not just more sustainable, but ecologically-friendly. Co-founder Mitch Joachim is thinking about things like buildings made of living trees. And he cringes at the thought of all that we toss away sitting for eons in landfills.

Mitch Joachim: We absolutely have to reverse that process and think of things that are designed for disassembly.

Randy Atkins: So Joachim is actually growing chairs. The main material is the root base of mushrooms which propagate inside a mold to form any shape. Further processing makes a hard, allergy-free, long-lasting structure but…

Mitch Joachim: …when you’re finished with this particular chair you throw it into a garden and it contributes to other life forms besides just people.