Oh Mycelium! Products and DIY Projects Made From Mushrooms
July 30, 2016 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
There’s a fungus amongus and it’s sprouting some cool designs. For sustainable and innovative industrial design solutions, designers and manufacturers are growing mycelium-based materials to replace wood and plastic foams.
Ecovative Design is at the vanguard of developing and producing renewable biomaterials for a variety of versatile, healthy, and safe products.
Fusion of Form and Fungi
Ecovative’s recently launched Ecovative Interiors offers wall tiles, lighting, and furniture made with MycoBoard and MycoFoam. The interior acoustic tiles, below, are an eye-catching fusion of form and fungi.
Mushroom Packaging and Floral Foam
In partnership with Sealed Air Corporation, Ecovative produces Restore™ Mushroom® Packaging, a sustainable material from which they grow custom packaging solutions and even floral foam.
Photo via Ecovative.
Growing and Glowing: Lighting
Danielle Trofe’s MushLume Cup Light. Photo via Danielle Trofe.
“All of the lamps are grown, not manufactured,” said Trofe. “By harnessing innovative technologies and material sciences to create functional and accessible design, I aim to encourage a departure from conventional materials and production techniques in search of long-term, sustainable solutions.”
GIY: Grow It Yourself
In 2014, Ecovative introduced their “GIY Grow It Yourself” kit offering people the opportunity to grow their own objects.
3D-Printed Mycelium Chair
Studio Eric Klarenbeek designed this mycelium chair, a decorative result from experimentation with 3D-printers and living organisms. I’m not so sure about the comfort factor–the chair may be better for seeing than seating.
Photo by Benjamin Orgis
“We are the first in the world to 3D-print living mycelium, using this infinite natural source of organisms as living glue for binding organic waste,”said Klarenbeek. “Once it’s full-grown and dried, it turns into a structural, stable and renewable material. Combined with 3D-printing it gives us tremendous design freedom,”
The fungal furniture series is named after Japanese scientist Shigeru Yamanaka, who pioneered the use of fungal cells as a natural binding agent for various materials.
From L-R: Yamanaka Cross Stool, Tall Yamakanita, Yamanaka McQueen
Mycelium Vessels, Bowls, and Vases
Maurizio Montalti of Officina Corpuscoli leads The Growing Lab, an ongoing research project that explores the application of mycelium for a variety of different objects.
The Future of Plastic, an exhibition curated by Marco Petroni and presented at PLART in Italy, showcased products developed in The Growing Lab.
Part of The Future of Plastic exhibition, Amsterdam designer Maurizio Montalti’s research and experimentation at The Growing Lab resulted in a variety of mycelium vessels.
Photos via Maurizio Montalti.
Mushroom Tiles and Textiles: Togs to Towers
“You could imagine making shoes out of mycelium; you could imagine making raincoats,” speculated The Growing Lab’s Montalti, envisioning the possibilities for mycelium as an alternative to traditionally produced textiles. Mycoworks leather. Photo via Mycoworks.
Designers at MycoWorks have created a new kind of leather, above, that they say feels and performs just like the real thing. Grown rapidly from mycelium and agricultural byproducts in a carbon-negative process, the custom-engineered material is sustainable, versatile, and animal–free.
Growing Field of Mycotecture
The future of “mycotecture” lies with innovative materials like the mycelium bricks used in the construction of the Hy-Fi Towers at The Museum of Modern Art PS1 in New York City.
Ecovative supplied 10,000 mushroom bricks for the 40-foot-tall installation that New York-based architecture firm, The Living, built as part of the museum’s annual Young Architects Program.
Shiro by Leon Van der Veken, below, is a 100% biodegradable stool whose seat is made from mycelium.
The wedding gown, above, that Erin Smith designed for Growable Gowns, biodegrades after the special day. Let’s hope the marriage lasts longer than the dress.