cooperating with mycelium
Mycelium, the thread-like network of fungi, represents a new, distinct class of materials. It is estimated that six million species exist on earth – with a wide variety of properties. Some grow into a stable mesh in 5 to 10 days. Others produce antibiotics. Still others taste like chicken meat. Some species could break down PET-plastics enzymatically. All are intelligent. So the last mentioned can recognise and select the PET even in mixed rubbish. In addition, mycelium communicates with its environment in various ways. Mycelium influences its environment in a well planned manner. Likewise, termites, for example, specifically influence the mycelium they cultivate to achieve certain properties and products.
What if we intensify our relationship with mycelium? What if we not only let mycelium grow into classical forms, but use its adaptability, its intelligence? What if we transfer mycelium symbioses to other contexts? What role can mycelium play in cycles? During this Semester Project We investigated the diverse forms and properties of mycelium. We explored the aesthetic qualities of mycelium-based products. We considered the myriad symbionts of mycelium, the various interactions and relationships of mycelium with other organisms and the environment.
The students designed products, systems and materials that understand mycelium as a partner and/or take its partnerships as a model.
|Prof. Mareike Gast
|3rd year BA and Master