05.- 06.10.2021 – Workshop with Alessandro Volpato

Berlin based Alessandro Volpato has a background as biologist and is involved in citizen science projects as communicator and demonstrator for open scientific tools and the work with fungi.
He designs tools to facilitate the learning process in life sciences and explore interdisciplinary research, in- and outside universities. To do that, he transfers knowledge to non-experts by hosting workshops, designing open-source tools and fostering critical discussion about biotechnology and innovation.
As a co-founder of the TOP-Lab and co-autor of the book “Mind the Fungi” he gave us an introduction workshop about the properties of fungi(-materials) in general and special features of selected fungi.
Afterwards we made concepts trying to defining symbioses with mushrooms and were challenged to realize them in the BioLab.
With the help of Falko Matthes we also got to know the BioLab much better…

Alessandro brought a lot of different mycelium materials and experiments with him and gave us some insight into his work and research. For example is the mushroom “reishi” (Ganoderma lucidum) a good growing option even when the growth environment isn’t sterile. While reishi produces a more soft surface, the so called “turkeytale” produces more hard surfaces.
In the following lecture he told us more about myco leather, myco remediation, producing medical components and tried to define the mechanical features of mycelium based materials.

After that we were challenged to make concepts according to the task: “bringing together the intelligence of mushrooms with features of other organisms in a symbiotic relationship – mix wanted end properties!”
One group decided to make a fungi based soundfilter for drumheads and experimented with different mushrooms in order to stick on the material “Mylar”.
The other group were experimenting with the “hoof fungus” (Zunderschwamm) and the algae “Dunaliella salina” to create “ Zundanella – the first symbiotic make up.

Thanks to:
Alessandro Volpato
text:Enrique Torres
project:mutual affairs