Mitchell Joachim’s Fab Hab Treehouse

Mitchell Joachim's Fab Hab Treehouse

Mitchell has a cool site with some visionary architectural ideas.

One of my favorites is the pleached tree house — a home grown from live plants that are woven and bent into shape as sapplings to form the structure.

The obvious comment: “Man, that must take a long time to make.” And it’s true, the ‘build’ would take years, but that may not be such a bad thing.

Commitment to a grow-it-yourself design has some benefits. For example, it could accomodate the requirements of an expanding family by sprouting an annex. And, it could theoretically heal itself when damaged. But the big benefit is that the owners would have a vested interest in maintaining the health of their property as a living system.

I’m impressed by Mitchell’s proposition that people can live in co-existence with the local flora. I suspect many people find this proposition to be ‘way out there’ because it attempts to answer problems that many people are still struggling to identify and recognize in their own lives.

I think the idea of a pleached tree house is beautiful because it emphasizes a symbiotic relationship with, rather than domination over, the environment. I like that it contradicts the assumption that wealth is about the possession of commodified inanimate objects. With the Fab Hab, domestic wealth and reward comes from the time and care invested into one’s existence with the land. And, I really like that you just can’t outright buy the instant gratification of the biggest, lastest, and greatest.

Mitchell’s vision is a deceptively well crafted design for social change. You see, our homes hold a special value to us because they protect us from elements and they are where we let our guard down and be most vulnerable. Choosing where we live, and what we live in, defines our sense of place and grounds our daily lives.

To me, the Fab Hab is a vision of a living sanctuary, a sustainable envelope, and symbiotic connection with our environment.