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....