The Growing Lab / Mycelia
The Growing Lab / Mycelia (2012-current) is a process-based research project actively investigating and assessing methods for employing fungal mycelium as main agent of cohesion and transformation of organic waste, towards the development of novel materials, production methodologies and the 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/fossil fuels), and disposable applications.
TGL/M harnesses the opportunity of valorising existing organic waste-streams (substrates) by transforming such inputs in a vast range of novel materialities, each characterised by specific outstanding qualities and suitable for different applications.
Within such context, 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 further expanding to date.
By defining stable and repeatable processes and by tangibly materialising visionary 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, allowing for the development of research, new perspectives, solutions and overall collaborative initiatives devoted to the creation of reliable materials and of the deriving products and systems, contributing to balance the role of the individual with the ecosystem he’s part of. As in fact, once discarded at the end of their life, mycelium-based materials and products can turn into nutrient, favouring the growth of new life.
Selected biofabrication process (bioassembly) based on fermentation, dedicated to effectively match specific strains with custom substrates.
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Selected fungal cultures (mycelium) grown on selected fibrous residues from agriculture or manufacturing industries.
Officina Corpuscoli / Maurizio Montalti