In order to begin our project, we took part in a two day workshop during which we made a few exercises to open our mind to the possibilities of the mycelium.

It was never questioned to think about the limits or feasibility but only about seeing opportunities, imagining processes. The goal was to think larger, first with unbounded ideas, to point out the direction we wanted to go.

All together, we started by writing down everything we had learned about mushrooms, mycelium and symbiosis through different categories:
– Properties of the mycelium
– Possible symbiosis
– Manufacturing processes
– Every day processes

We also printed out our previous presentations to obtain a collection of different mushrooms with their own properties, some examples of what was already existing in this field and some other interesting aspects. After putting everything on the walls, we had a good overview of the knowledge we had acquired.

It was then time for the first exercise. Here, everyone started by writing as many things, materials and objects that does not grow that they could think about. In a second time, after switching places, the goal was to imagine what would happen if all of these started growing.
The ideas born from this experiment were a good way to understand what the use of mycelium in everyday life must provide.

In the second exercise, we each took a specific mushroom and a manufacturing process and describe what benefits we would get, and issues would occur. Again, we switched places, and another person was tasked to adapt the process in order to make it plausible. From this new adaptation, we all imagined a way to use this in a product, leading to 6 ideas per process.

The next excise was about making connections between needs and uses. In groups of three, we took three different parameters (a symbiosis, a process and a property of the mycelium), we were asked to propose as many applications as we could think about using these. We repeated the exercise six times, and this leads to a lot of hypothetical ideas.

The last exercise was projecting the use of mycelium in big companies, like Shell, Bose or Canon, and write down what this would change according to us. Everyone started by choosing a company and writing five lines, then switched to the right, continuing the story already written. We repeated until being back where we started and then sketched the result of the story.

In the end, we had produced a lot of ideas and concepts. The final thing we did was to split in three groups: makers, inventors and responsibles. Every group had to choose three concepts according to what would fit the best with their title.

Supported by:

Prof. Mareike Gast
Karl Schikora
Andreas Wagner
project:mutual affairs