Grow Your Own Mushroom-Based Design Materials

We’ve been following the development mushroom-based materials an alternative to plastic design materials for some time now.

And now, for enthusiasts of this ecologically minded design material, a DIY modeling kit is allows designers to grow their own mushroom material designs more easily. Called ‘Mushroom Materials’, this kit was developed by the company Ecovative Design. Mushroom Materials is made of agricultural waste and mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a mushroom fungus. The mycelium acts like a natural glue, easily bonding with the accompanying agricultural waste materials that include corn stalks or seed husks. The result is a viable bioplastic – with a lot diversity as a design material.

The kit itself contains a bag of dehydrated Mushroom Materials. The dehydration process ensures easy shipping and storage. Water can then be added to the product, at which point it takes on a dough like consistency and grows over days within any custom-designed mould. Mushroom Materials have so far been used to create products from lamps to pots.

On a larger scale, Mushroom Materials has also been used in the façade of a tower installation of the New York’s MoMA PS1 Gallery, by architectural studio The Living.