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The Biohouse Project

October 25, 2008

When I was looking for the mandatory internship for ETP we had some quite interesting leads. But all of them turned out to be not working. Softbank for example declined because of security policy. During these days I visited the PA company Dream Inc. in Shin Yokohama. They rent professional sound equipments of any kind to big events, stadiums and theaters. The one special thing about this company is the inventiveness of its CEO Masanobu Noriyuki. He has developed for and with the companies CLD Celestial Dream and FPS a groundbreaking new speaker technology. It resembles so called flat panel speakers but it is fundamentally different from these mostly unsuccessful attempts to revolutionize sound systems. About this speaker technology you will find more background information here.

One of Dream Inc.’s multi-cell flat panel speaker arrays

The other special thing about the company is that it has started incubating the most visionary Biohouse Project. Noriyuki and his partner and producer Magical Power Mako – don’t worry, the name keeps its promise – have worked for years on this visionary scenario. It took me quite a while to understand what it really means and I got progressively fascinated by it. So, what is it in a nutshell?

BIOHOUSE is a platform for the cooperative development of future “Living Systems” that enable human beings to live in, move or migrate through all ecospheres without disturbing them by using efficiently the available resources.

To these ends the platform integrates otherwise separated fields like material sciences with environmental and media technologies. It is a radical approach that converges on the long run all forms of terrestrial, submarine and outer space life.

The starting point is a material Biohouse Prototype built as a dodecaeder that provides new media experiences with Noriyuki’s small and powerful speakers and state of the art LED panels. This architectural solution is provided by the partner company Life Design. Next step is the software integration of Audiantis core technology now called iMedia and based on the principle of real time mixing of audio and video signals. The structure of the house itself is the symbol of its multifaceted usability – and more than that. Yet the Biohouse project is not bound to this geometry, it can vary a lot and it could also be totally different. As I said, the shape is a symbolic starting point.

This is the conceptual nucleus of Biohouse

The existing prototype 2,5 m high

One of Noriyuki’s powerful, precise and efficient flat speaker modules

Inside the Biohouse prototype, the green strip attached on the left attached to the hull being one of the speaker modules

The concept of Biohouse regarding the functional fields involved

In the meantime we have established a Biohouse Group of five companies, including Nihon Yusac and MK for digital signage systems, i.e. LED displays. The idea is to grow and to develop this platform internationally, which means to deliver standard modules from Japan to other countries and companies, to connect them for coordinated development work and to spin off marketable industrial products. The project will also generate a special video social network service that we have started already on our own channel biohouse TV where we have live streamed and recorded our first Biohouse party at Lotus Calyx.

All that might sound far fetched, but we are not the first to do that.

Buckminster Fuller

We have found our role model in one of the most creative inventors of the 20th century. R. Buckminster Fuller was a visionary engineer, thinker, architect and entrepreneur. He coined the terms of “Spaceship Earth” and “Synergetics“. He invented new fields of science and design like “Tensegrity” and “Anticipated Design Science”. It is true, many of his ideas never really got off the ground. Some, however, were very successful. Most famously, Fuller designed the geodesic dome, a revolutionary design that led to buildings such as the Epcot Center at Disney World in Florida. Fuller also laid the foundations of the environmental movement with his constant calls for humans to “do more with less” and his announcement in the mid-’70s that humanity had reached a point in history when alternative energy and agricultural technologies could sustain all of humanity, making poverty and war obsolete. He wanted architecture to become dynamic and mobile, to swing itself into the fourth dimension. Thus he stated “In architecture form is a noun; in industry form is verb“.  We want to take over a good part of his insights and motivations and blend it with today’s and tomorrow’s state of the art sciences and inventions.

He was the one who started developing and building those geodesic domes.

In a final stage those homes should be cheap, light and highly efficient industrial products that could be sold all over the world

The Dymaxion was another solution for a “Dwelling Machine”, an optimized house

Fuller didn’t stop in the terrestrial ecosphere, he was very much aware of the bigger frame

A dymaxion residential area

A geodesic dome in Antarctis

US pavillion for Montreal Expo

The next steps for the Biohouse Group is to make further prototypes 4,5m, 12m and 20m high. We have developed a completely designed and calculated blue print for this project that we offer now major companies.

One possible construction, proposed in August 2008 to Shanghai Expo

As we are practical people with theoretical ideas and not the other way round, we have started planning the whole setup for a first big Biohouse in a special and unique environment. Magical Power Mako, who did more than a year of preliminary research, has identified a beautiful spot for the first Biohouse Research Institute. We went to the west coast of Izu peninsula to a hidden real estate close to the village Heda where in 1854 the Japanese built with the help of shipwrecked Russians a western style vessel and sent them home in friendship.

My partner Yuki Tanaka, Magical Power Mako and Masanobu Noriyuki in Heda

Bay of Heda

Natural harbor of Heda

Expedition to hidden grounds, protected with gloves and incents against moscitos

Into the jungle of Izu where wild boars and monkeys reign

This is the splendid view from the secret place where the Biohouse Institute shall be built

One Comment leave one →
  1. JFB permalink
    October 25, 2008 7:48 pm

    It’s a great project for your internship at ETP. Will you continue afterwards ? When will the first houses be available ? How does it relate to your iSound technology ? by the way, since I follow this blog, I discovered a lot of sites offer audio reading features (govt sites in France for example).

    I am having the ETP interview on Monday ! Maybe I ‘ll come back to ask you for an internship at iSound !

    Mit freundlichen grüssen.

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