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Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

Posted August 22, 2017 11:00 AM by MaggieMc

A month ago when I wrote about structures grown from mushrooms, I imagined I’d found myself the strangest potential future for grown buildings. I was so very wrong.

In 2008, Mitchell Joachim, co-founder of Terreform, a nonprofit organization for philanthropic architecture, urban, and ecological design, imagined and designed a house made of meat.

Luckily, such a building does not consist of Joachim huddling in a Tauntaun carcass in a land far far away (or even in the above field, surrounded by cows). Instead, this “house” would be victimless, a 3D printed structure of extruded pig cells. For the small-scale prototype (right), the pig cells covered a polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) scaffold. Sodium benzoate was used as a preservative to kill yeast, bacteria, and fungi, while the remainder of the model matrix was composed of an amalgam of thickening agents, salts, gelatins, and cochineal—presumably to dye the structure naturally.

Actual details regarding the proposal are hard to come by, but Joachim envisioned the concept would move from what he admits was a “very expensive fitted cured pork or articulated swine leather with an extensive shelf life” to a complex organic home where “tissues, skin, and bone replace insulation, siding, and studs.”

A “window detail” provided with the project proposal on Terreform’s site articulates the placement of everything from muscle fibers, to derma papilla, to … sphincter cavities. Those particular cavities would act as fenestration, creating doors and windows capable of opening and closing.

TED journalist Patrick D’Arcy indicates that Joachim understands many Terreform projects probably won’t be realized. Instead, Joachim explains, “[t]he more interesting the idea is, the more provocative the idea, the more it resonates historically—it becomes an important piece of the puzzle, eventually leading towards the solution.”

In the same article, Joachim indicates the meat house idea is less about building a house out of meat, rather about designing new technologies and materials for large-scale construction. That being said, aren’t there less extreme ways to promote new technology than living in a house made of jerky? Even Terreform’s earlier grown Fab Tree Hab is a much easier concept to wrap one’s brain around.

While this idea may never come to fruition, imagining Joachim and his team growing pig carcass after victimless pig carcass in their lab certainly puts other seemingly radical construction techniques into perspective. Perhaps with that mindset, we really will be able to change architecture at the cellular level.

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#1

Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 11:33 AM

Shouldn't the house be shaped like a pig?

...and continue the motif to the surrounding landscape...

...and we need somebody to 'test live' in the house....perhaps a guinea pig?

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#10
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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 10:32 PM

Where in the hell do you get all those photos? You seem to always have something for something. And not the standard stuff, either.

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 10:48 PM

Let me just think a minute....hhhmm

Let's see you turn right at the place where Marcy found that really strange bug.....then follow that path to the big swinging tree, follow the poop trail to the old fruit tree, and just past the scary cave, there's the sea of images....

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#2

Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 12:03 PM

The proteins in meat are very strong and durable. Such as sinew, proven for centuries to be very durable.

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 12:38 PM

Meat Rushmore...

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 12:49 PM

is that.... BACON?

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 1:10 PM

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 2:17 PM

that's a pretty high atomic number for Bacon... since I'm on a diet, I'll the weight watchers special which is

and a side of...

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 1:50 PM

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 2:18 PM

Get your own bacon boy...

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Re: Living in a Pig: Mitchell Joachim’s In Vitro Meat Habitat

08/22/2017 8:15 PM

I'm thinking a talking dog can probably get whatever he wants...

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