One of the few materials I know of that grows to fit molds, mycelium is a material made from the roots of a mushroom grown round agricultural waste.

Mycelium is not much to look at calling up images of wood chips dipped in paint however it’s aesthetic sacrifice is worth it as it is quite an extraordinary material. Mycelium is a completely biodegrade and lightweight alternative to Styrofoams and other padding materials. It’s seen use in seating for festivals and Ikea is even looking into using it.

Features

  • Soft and spongy.
  • Can absorb force.
  • Low weight
  • Waste and natural materials.
  • Easy to compost.
  • Can be grown to shape.

Constraints

  • Breaks down when exposed to moisture.
  • Low tensile strength.
  • Odd appearance.

mycelium2

Manufacture & Fabrication

Mycelium takes refined agricultural waste and uses mycelium particles stripped of mushroom spores to grow into brick shapes. The shape can be altered based upon the mold and the type of agricultural waste used. The material can then be cut using wood working tools and can be seared  with hot metal or lasers to etch details in.

Durability & Sustainability

The material is durable as long as it is not exposed to living organisms. Most moisture contains bacteria which in great enough number would quickly degrade the material. However the material when breaking down is 100% environmentally safe and is actually a fairly healthy thing to have in a compost bin.

Find out more at Ecovative

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