A stage set made of mycelium

Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration Protohaus GmbH, constructed a stage set for the Braunschweig State Theater (Germany), made of mycelium.

The stage set was made for the play ‘Funken’ about a boy sent to a summer camp for talented children, where he feels like an outsider. The surface of the mountain landscape was made of mycelium. Mycelium, the root system of mushrooms, is grown on natural fibres, such as agricultural waste, which turn into a lightweight, white, polystyrene-like material.

The structure-giving elements inside the mountain are made from wood and were produced by the State Theater. For the surface of the mountain, the project partners at Protohaus added mycelium to the substrate of elephant grass fibres and allowed it to grow through. In the Fraunhofer WKI technical center, the researchers used the wooden frames from the State Theater to create the shape and perform bonding and surface treatment.

Mushroom shaped lampshades on stage were also produced using mycelium that has been hot-pressed in an innovative process.

The aim of the project is to show the potential of mycelium materials in (set) construction.

Photo: Eva Lochner