Material

Mycelium

By

Made in

Biodegradable 244 Circular 224 Composite 102 Fibre 68 Plant-based 177 Regenerative 55 Mycelium 25 Sawdust 9

Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium
Mycelium

Photos: Nina Flaitz

Dynamic Type Field

“Dynamic Type Field” is an ongoing investigation into the potential of implementing graphic design into Mycelium-based composites. In a hands-on process, possibilities and limits of typographic applications are explored in respect of the material’s properties.

Graphic design plays an interesting role in the context of mycelial material, as Mycelium has the ability to grow into any shape and thus interact with it.
The fact that Mycelium is nowadays mainly used for packaging materials or in panel format opens up an exciting topic. For all the applications that this circular material offers, it must also be possible to integrate appropriate typography that eventually can be recycled the same way as the entire object.
Research is being carried out into which substrate is best suited for this purpose, which techniques can be used most appropriately and which possibilities this application can offer.

Previous tests involved the use of 3D printed moulds, laser and screen printing techniques to apply typography onto the material. A key focus is also on highlighting the aesthetic qualities of the material through grids and type details, as the surface texture of the material is often perceived as a negative aspect.

Making process

Mycelium-based composites are produced by mixing a single fungal stem with a substrate of organic matter. The shape and space determine the final product.

In order to work with a consistent format, a formwork measuring 20×20 cm was built. The coated MDF board prevented the fungus from sticking or even digesting the form.
Unlike materials made of hemp or straw, the sawdust used for these experiments is quite fine, with the aim of keeping type details visible after the growing process.
Depending on their size, the objects are grown for about six days and then removed from the mould. After demoulding, it becomes apparent how precisely the structure of the 3D print was transferred into the material.
The subsequent drying process makes the samples durable. This last step is very important as it stops the growth and prevents the shape and structure of the material from changing further or even the fungi from developing fruiting bodies.
To achieve their strength, the plates have to be baked for at least 6 hours and are subsequently very lightweight.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Ingredients

Selected fungal strains (mycelium), sawdust.