Visiondivision and sustainable development – an amazing project

When you want something with all your heart, that's when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It's always a positive force.

— Paulo Coelho, The Alchimist

If we can be patient with the building time we can reduce the need for transportation, waste of material and different manufacturing processes, simply by helping nature grow in a more architectonic and useful way. This is just a mockup. The final result can be enjoyed about 60 years from now.

Visiondivision is an architecture firm in Stockholm, and from 8-10 cherry trees they made a study retreat at the campus “with patience as the main key for the design.”

In a culture hooked on speed, concrete and suburban sprawl, sustainable design cannot mean “more of the same” that’s dressed in a “green” veneer, but is still fundamentally at odds with long-term, natural constraints. Rather, what is needed is a paradigm shift in our relationship with nature and our built environment. In this beautiful instance of “slow design” by Swedish architecture firm, cherry trees are gradually shaped to form a two-storey structure over time — generating another “resilient” vision of design and habitation.

Conceived as part of a week-long workshop at Politecnico di Milano, this “arbortecture” project compelled students to reflect on a different way of designing that could counteract the negative ecological impacts of our speed-addicted culture. The result is “The Patient Gardener,” an outdoor structure that will be sculpted out of ten cherry trees planted in a 8 meter diameter ring.

According to Visiondivision, the idea is to work — and wait — patiently over time, bending, twisting, grafting, pruning, weaving, regulating light and water to modify the trees into an occupiable framework: In the middle is a six meter high temporary wood structure in the center that is acting as a guidance tower for the growing structure. The trees were planted with an equal spacing from each other, except for four of them that became two pairs of stairs to the future upper level. Thin ropes were tied around the plants and were slightly bent towards the temporary tower. The small branches on the plants that will grow into stairs are guided with wires to each other. On the ground level the designers plan furniture out of grass, trees and plants.

Sixty years may seem like a long time to wait for a structure to appear and coalesce over time — but the implication is that it will be cared for over time, with its stewardship eventually being passed onto the next generation — something that we don’t think about with our conventional building culture. As Japanese treehouse builder Takashi Kobayashi once said, only when humans live closely with trees, and make the shift to see them as ‘home’ — will we stop seeing them as mere resources to be exploited.

Source: nextness.com.au , treehugger and designboom.com

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