Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leap of Imagination

I am a huge fan of science fiction (especially the speculative type, which interpolates the future from trends which are happening presently) and of technological progress in general.  That being so, when I learn of a new discovery it sometimes captures my imagination and I try to think of how such technology might be put to use in the future.  Here's a leap of imagination... or sci-fi nearing reality, that that I find fascinating and somewhat disturbing.

I happened across a website describing a company that "prints" buildings and other structures using a technology similar (though on a much larger scale) to an ink jet printer.  The process is roboticized, allowing the designer to create a CADD (computer assisted design and drafting) model which directly controls the production of the structure. 

Ok - that's kind of cool.... however....

Combine that with the recent announcement of the creation of "artificial life" by Craig Venter, and its quite possible to make a number of leaps of imagination...  such as the speculation by Tom McKeag (who teaches bio-inspired design at Berkley) that living, self-regulating, self repairing buildings might be  "grown."

I'm not a Luddite, but I have this strange sense of foreboding....


  1. Very interesting. I thought I'd just take a peak, but ended up staying at the first link for quite a while. Amazing...

    The second one I wouldn't just describe as amazing. It would be amazing and SCARY...

    Hearing this kind of stuff makes me want to be much younger so I can see what will actually happen in the future..

    I'm not a Luddite either, but I agree with you!

  2. I too agree with you. On both counts. ON the second count, I think there's a very worrying trend of thought,that if we can we will, at whatever cost, without seeing the larger picture. Imagination is a wonderful thing and needs to be free to roam, but it does need a strong hand to reign it in and to keep within certain ethical boundaries. If we meddle too much, the resulting 'mix' could be very catastrophic, or maybe I've seen too many horror/science fiction movies....A thought provoking blog.