Das Urpflanza Haus
Das Urpflanze Haus--Homage to Goethe The Modern Movement in architecture was based primarily in Utopian Solutions to its constructed Tasks. To complete these Tasks the Moderns combined Science [ as the desire to differentiate Nature indefinitely ] with Personal Intuition, so as to inform the architect when to make an end. Modernism’s most pressing problem then was assumed to be the construction of Mass-Housing that is truly affordable by all. Although the real issue was stated by the Modernists, somehow it was never solved successfully by their many strategies that included but not limited to Architectural Planning at the Macro and Micro Scales that would make anyone who ever attended L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts take on a green patina , and the study of New Materials combined with Progressive Engineering that looked to Nature as the Source of its Structural Principles. The Post-Modernists who converged Science with Nostalgia avoided the Present, and its problems altogether, in favor of reviving the Past. As we enter The Bauharoque [the third phase of Modernism] , architects are now faced with such problems as : bulging populations, the United Nations has predicted that by the year 2050 the world’s population will have reached 10 billion, and this will mean to feed and house these teeming masses will require a program as drastic as raising three more continents the size of Africa from the ocean floor, fleeing from un--winnable terrorist wars that seem to keep on escalating, and ignoring the general and continuous degrading of the world’s natural environment, believing politics is entertainment and a substitute for religion, or that popular media makes its money by pitting various interest groups and classes against each other. I believe that if a strategy for mass housing could be found, that would involve non-repressive personal environments [ avoiding mechanical standardization], a base could be established from which other social problems will be solved. Then finally the quest for meaning in existence could gradually replace the goals of our almost complete secular world. To do this requires the total convergence of Science with Mysticism. While this task has already been started by a few individuals and groups [beginning in the 19th Century], it will not be until the entire world is involved, that a real change will be noticed. My proposal, therefore, for ending the world housing shortage is by growing houses from plant materials and developing genetically altered seeds which will induce habitable forms in single and multiple species, in other words Vegetable Chimeras. These forms will then begin to approximate the rich vocabulary of spaces the history of the Human Species has created from the individual home to cities with the mass and image of say New York City [which has now proliferated almost everywhere on the earth when the goal of urbanism is desired]. Recently the sciences of botany and bio-engineering have discovered five functions that plants can perform that will aid in establishing plant-human relationships. 1.Semyon Davidovich Kirlian through his electro-photography discovered that plants bridge the abyss between life - death and regeneration; 2. When tobacco plants are gene-spliced with luciferin from fireflies the plants will light up with 5 watts of cold light. Soon bio-engineering will increase the light level to 100 watts ,the normal light level for human eyes ; 3. Spinach leaves exhibit the highest electrical potential of all the plant forms, making them examples of the photovoltaic effect produced directly by Nature : 10 volts D.C.; 4. Large groupings of carnivorous plants can control insect populations within confined areas; 5. On their own many plant forms will graft themselves together for more efficient survival by means of rhizomes underground and aboveground limbs. What could be a more plausible or delightful solution than to live in a world-wide garden: The New Eden – populated with physically alive architecture that could exist almost anywhere on the Earth’s surface or under the ocean or up in the air, that was produced in growing time of approximately two to three months. Also as Humanity begins to explore other planets and satellites , I do not believe , people will like living in high-tech tin cans on barren wastelands. We would certainly prefer Bio-forming an alien environment in staying alive to the ill-fated Bio-Sphere Earth Projects which were simply a complex form of the 19th Century conservatory or greenhouse. The conservatory has one basic drawback. It is a building type that requires Human intervention to protect the plant species inside. The purpose of Das Urpflanze Haus , or physically alive architecture , is to do what all architecture is supposed to do – protect us from an alien environment. We exist on the Earth because of the existence of Vegetation , not the other way around Bringing this proposal to fruition will first require prototypes created by grafting plant materials in forms generated by advancements in Combinatorial Topology – the branch of mathematics that the best chance of understanding the true nature of Biology forms. The secret of grafting and growing DAS URPFLANZE HAUS [the primordial plant house] to a mature and seeded state is the Ginkgo Biloba or The Maidenhair Tree. Native to China , it tolerates all climates and soils. It was saved from extinction in the 19th Century by being grown in certain Chinese Monasteries. The tree dates from the Permian Period of the Paleozoic Era [286 to 245 million years ago], making the Ginkgo Biloba the oldest flowering plant on earth, and the fact that it was alive during the time of the Dinosaurs ,live shoots of The Tree can connect deciduous to conifer trees , fruits to vegetables, and grasses to vines. The Ginkgo Biloba is not subject to the so-called Divine Proportion [.382…/.618…] which is actually The Proportion of Death.


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