Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Plants, People and Music Part 1: Listen for Life

Connection between Biological Wellness and Music: Plants, People and Music, collage by wobuilt.com
Collage: Plants, People and Music
Image Credit: MS Office ClipArt:
Dancing music notes +
People dancing around a tree
Quote Source: Shakespeare On-Line:
Shakespeare Quotations on Music
from Henry VIII, 3.1.4-9 by William Shakespeare

The Connection between Biological Wellness and Music
It goes without saying that humans love music. Why not plants?

We are not the first to pose this question. Since the 1950’s everyone from scientists to botanists to curious students (think: science fair projects) have explored the effects of music on plants.

An online search of common databases will return contrary results, such as "no scientific research has been done" to "many controlled experiments by scientists have been performed."

So, with that in mind, after a fair bit of researching, it does seem that:
  1. Music does have a profound influence on the growth of plants; and,
  2. Classical music seems to have a much better influence on plants than heavy metal, rap, rock, or even country music.
Why might this be so?

Generally speaking, people know the difference between music people like and beautiful music. That is, while most contemporary genres of music (from rock to RAP, heavy metal, jazz, pop, etc.) might be fun to listen to (or even dance to), they just don’t have the same melodic / harmonic / rhythmic qualities as most classical, choral, sacred, traditional, acoustic music from around the world.

Consider also the kind of music that’s played in spas and during massage, reiki, meditation, and/or yoga sessions. We know intuitively what tones, harmonies, melodies, etc. are relaxing, rejuvenating, etc.

It turns out many professional greenhouses already play classical music for their plants. We doubt they would be doing it if it had no positive effect.

Wo-Built wholeheartedly believes in the healing power of music both for people and plants. That’s why Peapod Life will incorporate sound in new and exciting ways. Stay tuned!

Attila Lendvai
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Please see other articles below for more details about Peapod Life:
Peapod Life: Applications for Better LivingPeapod Life: Health and Wellness through Indoor Garden Living Spaces
Affordable Home Additions that Rejuvenate Your Quality of Life: Herbs!
Living with Plants inside an enclosed Ecosystem: Doctor Tested and Approved

You’ve got all the toys for your home; but do you have the fun; the fantasy?

Fairy with Flowers image + a quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William ShakespeareCollage: Beauty & Magic of Natural World
Image Credit: MS Office ClipArt: Fairy with Flowers
Quote Source: Shakespeare Navigators: Puck’s Epilogue to
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream" by William Shakespeare

Bring the Beauty and the Magic of the Natural World into Your Home
So you’ve got the iPhone, the iPod, the iPad (or the ‘Droids); the sheik brownstone or the shiny new condo with the latest in contemporary designs, colours and textures, complete with a matching set of stainless steel appliances in "the ultimate kitchen." But, do you have the fun? The fantasy?

The summer is nearly over and so is Canadian Stage Company’s production of Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" in High Park.

We cannot imagine a better way to stage the Bard’s famous romantic comedy of errors than outside at dusk. What better backdrop than nature to evoke and the fantasy, mischief and love as lived in the realms of pixies, Puck and the Fairy Queen!

Now, what if you could bring that level of exotic, fun-filled fantasy into your home; your life? You can, with Peapod Life.

Wo-Built’s Peapod Life brings the beauty and the magic of the natural world into your space with magical installations that delight the senses, inspire the mind and rejuvenate the soul.

With the best of contemporary designs and technologies blended harmoniously with the timeless beauty and wisdom of Mother Nature, that feels right and just works, Peapod Life’s indoor ecosystems are beyond stylish …they are downright magical.

If today’s modern world of must-get stuff, cold technologies, hectic efficiency-minded pace, and industrialized urban lifestyle "offends" ... Peapod Life "shall make amends."

Attila Lendvai
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
Please see other articles below for more details about Peapod Life:
Peapod Life: Applications for Better LivingUrban Farming and Peapod Life: Grow Kids’ Connection to Community, Culture and Curriculum
Indoor Landscapes: Companies See the Light of a whole New Level of "wow, cool!"Fresh Air Indoors: Peapod Life Ecosystem Better Air Quality

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Combining Old and New Technology - The New Paradigm for Building?

Images: Contour Crafting builds house in 24-hours, by dailymail.co.uk
Images: Contour Crafting - Concrete is “printed” in layers through a nozzle
that moves around the building site with the help of a gantry;

Those behind Contour Crafting believe it could be used to develop entire neighbourhoods
Source: dailymail.co.uk: Contour Crafting builds house in 24-hours
Credit: Contour Crafting + TEDxOjai

3D printing technology could build a 2500 square foot house in one day, complete with fixtures and fittings

Who could have imagined inkjet printer technology would one day grow-up, off the two-dimensional page and into the world of three dimensions? Scientists and engineers, that’s who.

Now, an engineer from the University of Southern California is looking to grow the 3D printing phenomenon even further—to a size capable of building a house.

Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis
calls the process of depositing layers of specially formulated concrete “Contour Crafting.” Combined with incorporated robotic assembly of pre-fabricated mechanical, plumbing and electrical modules, Professor Khoshnevis claims his Contour Crafting could build an entire house complete with fixtures and fittings in under 24 hours.

That may sound far-fetched, but consider the fact that 2D inkjet printers have only been around a few decades. Already, 3D printing is fast becoming the new standard for 3D modelling, rapid prototyping, even custom part manufacturing. So why not scale-up the technology for buildings?

Wo-Built believes we are due for a new building paradigm. It is one of the reasons we are pushing ahead with our Peapod Life initiative. Given finite resources and the incredible waste and greenhouse gas emissions conventional building methods produce, we applaud any approach that pushes the boundaries and encourages new innovation.

Consider the potential of Contour Crafting to lead to the discovery of new, more environmentally friendly and sustainable building materials. Wo-Built can foresee a biotechnological angle to such material development—producing sustainable, durable, even photosynthetic structures that are maintenance free and beyond carbon-neutral.

Attila Lendvai
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build


contourcrafting.com: Contour Crafting (CC)
Contour Crafting (CC) is a layered fabrication technology developed by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California.

dailymail.co.uk: science & tech: Contour Crafting builds house in 24 hours
The end of the builder? The giant 3D printer that could create a HOUSE in 24 hours
• Printer can create all fixtures and fittings as it creates house layer by layer
• Could be used to build a 2500 square foot house in a day

PUBLISHED: 13 August 2012

gizmodo.com.au: 3D Printer Can Build You A House In 20 Hours: Welcome To The Future
Luke Hopewell, Gizmodo AU August 9, 2012

idesigntimes.com: Amazing Innovations: 3D Printer Can Build a House In 20 Hours
By Jacob Kleiman | August 13, 2012

smartplanet.com: A giant 3D printer builds a livable house
By Amy Kraft | August 11, 2012

core77.com: Contour Crafting: 3D Printing an Entire House
Posted by hipstomp | 2 Aug 2012

wobuilt.com/blog: A New Construction Paradigm for Buildings

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Cracks in the Ceiling? Bee Sweet to Houseguests!

Bees’ Home Office. Image Collage by Wo-Built
Image Collage: Bees’ Home Office
Image Credits/Sources (From Left to Right): Honey Dripping through Cracks in Ceiling & Varney, Ontario Homeowners: WILLY WATERTON /QMI AGENCY,
Microsoft Office Clipart: Bees & Honeycomb
2012 @ wobuilt

Here’s a different take on living in harmony with nature. Is the latest "home invasion" by bees Mother Nature’s way of telling us we need to rekindle a deep reverence for the Queens of the Sun?

The latest incident of home invasion by bees is being touted online as a "horror story" for a Varney, Ontario couple. Two hives. Up to 180,000 bees. Approximately 2,000 pounds of honeycomb, dripping with honey right through growing cracks in the ceiling. A nest of yellow-jackets thrown in for good measure.

David Schuit, an Elmwood, Ontario beekeeper and his helpers were planning on taking down the ceiling in the living room and kitchen on Monday and removing the hives and honeycombs. Schuit exclaimed: "It’s really amazing. Bees are fascinating."

So, a sticky situation that was easily four years in the making, which could have ended much worse, seems well on its way to a finding a sweet resolution. All’s well that ends well. Get the whole story at cnews.

Like so many such stories, this one will buzz its way around the ‘Net, Twitterverse and inboxes for a while before vanishing into popular-consciousness oblivion. In six months’ time, it will at best be recalled as an urban legend.

This is the real "horror" of the story. Bee colonies are collapsing around the world. From fatal parasite infestations and disease epidemics to over-use of toxic pesticides and GMO crops, the very existence of nature’s most critical pollinating creature is in jeopardy. The "Queens of the Sun" are facing dark skies ahead, indeed.

It doesn’t help that our monoculture agricultural practices see tens of thousands of bee colonies shipped from one end of North America to the other each and every year to pollinate immense crop fields. This practice not only puts tremendous stress on individual hives, but allow for intermingling of colonies that would otherwise be separated from one another by tens of thousands of miles. The result? Contagions and parasites once contained to specific geographic locations infect colonies across the continent in one convenient step (thanks to human beings).

Maybe by bunking with humans, the bees are trying to tell us something. Maybe it’s because they know humans won’t be throwing their own home on the back of a flat-bed truck to drive thousands of miles. Maybe it’s because they know some humans are smart enough not to spray high concentrations of toxic substances in their house.

In other words, maybe the bees are trying to express how they like the same things we like: brightly coloured sweet smelling flowers; safety and security for their family; the chance to live and work in peace and harmony; freedom from tyranny and slavery. They’re reminding us our ancestors used to revere and respect them as sacred.

Are we saying you need to invite bees into your home? It’s not that far-fetched an idea. New Yorkers recently fought for their right to keep bees in the city. Even the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto has its own rooftop hives. With Peapod Life indoor ecosystems, there is definitely an opportunity to include nature’s most precious pollinators.

For more information on hive collapse syndrome, the importance of local permaculture and how to "bee sweet," for the sake of all creatures, we recommend the excellent, award-winning documentary, Queen of the Sun.

Attila Lendvai
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

youtube.com: Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? - Official Trailer [HD]
QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound,
alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel,
Official Film Website: http://www.queenofthesun.com
Uploaded by Collectiveeye on Feb 11, 2011

Find related articles and links:
cnews.canoe.ca: 180,000 bees invade Ontario home
Honey dropping from the ceiling

By Scott Dunn, QMI Agency July 29, 2012

owensoundsuntimes.com: news local: Invasion of the honey bees
By Scott Dunn, Sun Times, Owen Sound July 29, 2012

intelligencer.ca: News Ontario: Honey pit: Ontario house a honey pit
by scott.dunn@sunmedia.ca July 29, 2012

globalpost.com: Honeybee house anything but a home sweet home
Canadian woman finds 180,000 bees, 2,000 pounds of honey in attic.

by David Trifunov July 30, 2012

ctvnews.ca: 80,000 bees found inside Ontario home
80,000 bees, 100 kg of honey, found inside Varney, Ont. home

The Canadian Press, July 30, 2012 + 18 Comments