An Irrational Request

(C) Luc Schuiten

As a fan of the fantasy genre, I have always been attracted to the concept of tree architecture. Almost every fantasy world has some magical city hidden in the forest, where the branches intertwine into canopy walkways and the trunks serve as dwellings. Belgian architect Luc Schuiten has taken this idea and applied it to the urban space, imagining sprawling cities made of twisting trees and illuminated by bio luminescent leaves. His drawings seem both fantastical and futuristic. I highly recommend you check out his work.


Schuiten is not the first architect to imagine the use of trees in urban design. Mitchell Joachim of Terreform ONE developed the Fab Tree Hab as a home that operates symbiotically with it’s surroundings.

(C) Luc Schiuten

It would be my wildest dreams come true if any of these ideas were to become a reality. There is an art known as tree sculpting that can shape trees into desired patterns and structures. However, the key obstacle to any of these designs (among many) is that trees take quite a long time grow to a usable size. Trees often outlive humans, so any endeavor would require humans to plan far in advance and be well-invested in the future of the species (and we all know how hard we struggle with that).

So I am putting a call out to the genetic engineers of the world – figure out a way to accelerate the growth of trees. I don’t know how you’ll do it, or if it can be done, but I assure you, if you can do it, you would drastically change the world as we know it today. We could have the amazing cities we read about in books. This is the irrational part of my brain speaking, and it’s really only for the aesthetic purposes, but please, make it work.

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