Furniture made from mushrooms. Yes, you did read that right. As weird as it may sound this is the latest project from the Brooklyn based, “bio-hack” boundary-shifters at Terreform ONE.
A revolutionary material, known as ‘Mycoform’ is used to develop these space age, geometric structures which as you can see from the picture below, are of course sofas! Aren’t they?
Created by designer Mitchell Joachim and his team, the science behind this “pollution-free”, self-growing, super-sustainable surface is, put quite simply, amazing.
It works when mushroom roots known as mycelium spores are placed into a mould and fed with agricultural by-products like wood chips and oat bran. Stored in an incubator at around 80 degrees for ten days, the spores grow to fill the form, creating a pretty tough, “multi-curved, bio-material”.
The chairs are then assembled by interlocking segments on a bamboo scaffold and then designed and cut digitally.
Unfortunately you’ll have to save up to buy one of these pieces, this level a level of design and innovation comes at a hefty price. When they’re released later this year, each chair will likely run you a fair few thousand dollars a pop.
It may be pricey but this is defiantly not furniture for the 1%. Mycoform has far broader social and environmental objectives. Terreform ONE says the material won’t just be used to make furniture but clean-tech building blocks.
“The main objective of Mycoform is to establish a smart, self-sufficient, perpetual motion construction technology… easily transferable to the developing world where building materials are scarce and expensive.”
In other words, the houses of the future, they reckon, will be grown, not built.
Speaking to Collectively back in February, Melanie Fessel, director of design at Terreform ONE, said that the material is already being used to insulate houses, used to produce eco-packaging and surfboards.
Other projects are on the way.“We’re also working on an emergency shelter that merges the need for food and shelter by housing millions of little crickets in its façade,” Fessel said. The insects, she explains, can be ground down to provide protein in emergency food shortages.
Mushroom houses and insect tents are only the tip of the iceberg.
Other projects from the Invitro Meat Habitat – a house made of lab-grown pig cells. Or how about the Fab Tree Hab – houses made of living trees? There’s also the totally bonkers Plug-In Ecology Urban Farm Pod – a computer-irrigated spherical house-farm that grows vegetables via bioluminescent light sources.
This is not mainstream design. It is disruptive, it challenges the norm and that’s the whole point, explains Mitchell Joachim, in a film by Politico. It’s all about thought disruption.
“Sometimes radical projects create a condition of the left that moves the needle, just a bit further and people get to see beyond a horizon that they couldn’t look at before. And that really changes the centre,” says Joachim.
“So the work that we’re doing is being part of that scale or shift of perception of what is possible.”
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Photo Credit: Terreform ONE