Spinal suburb


[Image: What would happen, I suppose, if Toll Brothers went into genetic engineering: it's Geoff Shearcroft's "Grow Your Own" – probably not what New Scientist had in mind... but could you grow a whole city from the spines of cloned mice? Would anyone ever live there? What would a house fire smell like...?].

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Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Or it's a new tropical disease: you get bit by a bug in Bolivia, and you sprout architecture the next night, first as tiny bumps, then it spreads, a rash - and the bumps grow. You get whole Roman micro-domes, Aztec cities, a new Manhattan, growing from your forearms and shoulders. Perfectly symmetrical motorway flyovers. The bodily topographies of architectural infection.

A new biowarfare agent: the building bug.

January 04, 2006 4:00 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Could you give bedrock an infection, or infect a coral reef, and grow a whole city? The reef boils upward and forms a second Venice, a new Havana, infected there, frozen, in the waters. Genetically-modified coral as the building material of the future.

Surely there's a Greek myth about something like that? The wife of Zeus gets VD from a bull, then sprouts an Olympian suburb on her ass. Literal little houses. There are people living in Hera's ass. Zeus goes crazy, and gives birth to Athena out of his head. Houses begin sprouting everywhere. Little Smurf villages growing in her armpits.

January 04, 2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger B said...

I've been lurking for a while; I get a serious kick reading your posts, Geoff. So off-the-wall and funky; rambling architectural lsd trips. I'm waiting for one of your posts to be prefaces by something like this: "Mmmmm, peyote," followed by a pontification on fractal gen-eng fungus cities grown on floating islands. Or something like that. Always a surprise, anyway, keep up the good work.

January 04, 2006 5:50 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Except... you don't need peyote to think like that. But thanks! And welcome aboard the commenting express.

Meanwhile, I was thinking that BLDGBLOG: The Film has to include a scene – this is the great animated architectural fest discussed in the comments here and here, for instance – it will have to include a scene where the bedrock beneath Manhattan gets an infection, and starts sprouting up wild, Utah-like geologies, rock-reefs, disrupting power lines, breaking the sewers, chewing up the subway like underground teeth, earth-Jaws.

The infected bedrock, meanwhile, is traced back to the labs of a small start-up called BLDGBLOG...

January 04, 2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous sz said...

I've always loved the living-world-as-architecture meme. It leads you to fun stuff like:

http://www.arborsmith.com/index1.html#book
random bits on http://www.bd.co.kr/magicworld/

and http://corky.net/~eze/

Sometimes I think nanotech will be superceded by bioengineering before it ever gets off the ground.

sz

January 04, 2006 11:49 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

sz, do you know the FabTreeHab or this post at Pruned? Meanwhile, thanks for the links! That "magic world" one is great -

January 05, 2006 11:09 AM  
Blogger Alexander Trevi said...

Or midway through gestation, they get euthanized.(Or you?) Then chucked out the window. Once you've gone through your litter of mice, you'll have an entire landscape of ruin malformed architecture in your backyard. Instant Pompeii.

January 06, 2006 12:54 AM  
Anonymous sz said...

Geoff -
I've seen the 1st link but not the post at Pruned. Thanks! It's funny how you keep invoking J.G. Ballard lately. I only ran into bldgblog a few weeks ago, and I think
he was one of the first authors my subconscious referenced when I read one of your posts.
His work is like a strange drink whose taste you can't quite pin down and which you can't
quite decide if you like or not, but which you are completely unable to stop pouring stimulating glass after stimulating glass. I suspect a lot of it is the distinct feeling I get when reading his work that all my senses have been amputated and then replaced by unfamiliar analogs grown over millions of years of convergent evolutionary proceses. I cannot tell if the world I am reading about is actually different than the one I live in or if I am just perceiving it in different ways.

It's only fitting that he accompany these flights of surreal architectural fantasy.

The greatest curse of all is to be bored.

January 06, 2006 10:57 AM  

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