As innovators from all walks of life push to find alternative energy solutions, British designer Adam Shephard has conceived a system in collaboration with engineer Bill Ballard in which trees are outfitted with technological devices that harness the energy from their growth. Leveraging the naturally occurring forces of pressure that develop over an extended period of time, the system produces objects normally associated with high-speed and often ecologically irresponsible production. The system has been tested in an injection moulding case.
Designboom explains the inner-workings on this innovation in greater detail below:
The basis of shephard’s system draws on the gradual increase of pressure that is generated from the growing diameter of a tree trunk. each tree in shephard’s factory is surrounded by a band of webbing, spooled on a central axel that draws outwards as the tree grows, compressing a piston… shephard hopes to shed light on ways in which objects can be mass produced in the future.
The project changes our perception of a tree as a part of nature, into one that envisions them as industrial machines, essentially, the forest as factory. This way of framing energy production calls into question our existing methods of energy extraction by providing a solution that frames the relationship of man-to-nature in a more harmonious manner.