Architecture: mushrooms are rock solid!

Solidified structure in “mushroom sausages”. © Mandin Earth

Mushrooms as an environmentally friendly alternative to customary construction methods are what Aleksi Vesaluoma, student at the Brunel University in London and member of the collective Mandin. In his project Grown Structures, in collaboration with the architecture firm Astudio, he developed an architectural environment based on the use of mycelium.

Installation at the Design Showcase of the Made in Brunel in June 2017. © Mandin Earth

This filamentous biomaterial deriving from the root part of the mushroom in fact allows you to make structures that are at the same time solid, durable and respectful of nature. Aleksi Vesaluoma therefore worked on a technique mixing cardboard and mycelium, in “mushroom sausages,” i.e. tubes made with a cotton bandage.

The mushrooms growing on the structure are edible. © Mandin Earth

These tubes, once positioned on their structure, remain in a ventilated greenhouse for four weeks, which allows them to solidify and bind together. Exhibited from June 15-18, 2017 at the Design Showcase of Made in Brunel, as part of the London Festival of Architecture, this first demonstration of an “alternative manufacturing approach,” as Aleksi Vesaluoma explains to Makery, could be repeated during festivals or events, even in a pop-up restaurant since, substantial advantage, the mushrooms growing on these structures are edible! The young architect born in Finland is convinced: “Too often we think about creating new products to solve new problems but I think we need to focus on rethinking the ways we do things.”

If you too, want to develop architectural models from mycelium, start with this tutorial.

More information on the Mandin website

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