The Growing Lab / Mycelia
The Growing Lab / Mycelia, is a process-based research project actively investigating and assessing methods for employing fungal mycelium as the main agent of cohesion and the transformation of organic waste. With the aim of developing novel materials, production methodologies and other related applications in design, architecture and beyond.
The project tackles a very urgent issue characterising collective communities worldwide: waste generation and environmental impact generated by synthetic compounds (e.g. plastics, materials from finite resources, such as fossil fuels), and disposable applications.
TGL/M harnesses the opportunity of valorising existing organic waste streams (substrates) by transforming such inputs into a vast range of novel materialities, each characterised by specific qualities and suitable for different applications.
The project pioneered and opened up a radical paradigm shift, offering a different insight into the objects occupying our everyday life and the materials they consist of. By moving beyond traditional production methods, a new universe of ‘cultivated’ materials and objects started to materialise and it keeps continue to expand.
By defining stable and repeatable processes and by tangibly materialising everyday products (i.e. Mycelia collection), TGL/M demonstrates how 100% natural mycelium-based matters can positively compete with some of the most traditional polymeric materials and synthetic compounds offering multiple added values.
This allowed for the emergence of an impactful and tangible narrative, which made space for the development of new research, perspectives, solutions and overall collaborative initiatives devoted to the creation of reliable materials and of the deriving products and systems, contributing to balancing the role of the individual with the ecosystem we are part of. Once discarded at the end of their life, mycelium-based materials and products can turn into nutrients, favouring the growth of new life.
Selected biofabrication process (bioassembly) based on fermentation, dedicated to effectively matching specific strains with custom substrates.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Variety of mycelium cultures grown on fibrous residues from agriculture to the manufacturing industry