mycelium experiment + proposal

(my mycelium test 1)

Inspired by the mesh-like particle system coding pieces from the class Nature of Code, my first thought is to use mycelium as a material to create a bio generative art.

The coding outcome and mycelium share some similarities in appearance:

If I were to do so, how I mix substrates and spawns properly in order to let mycelium grow exactly as how it’s wrote in code would be a big challenge. The experiment on this issue would focus on –

1.Test it on a flat platform to observe how mycelium grow and spread in certain pattern

2. Reconsider and test the ratio of spawns and substrates  

3.Design the “route” of spawns

What’s more, as mycelium needs to grow in a dim environment, it would also be essential to place it in a dark space and applied particular light which allows it to be visible for observation but does no disturbance to mycelium at the same time.


My second thought was inspired by the fungi mutarium prototype, which concept was to let edible fungi degrade plastic and finally be eaten by human, I want to build a sustainable cycle in which after fungi digested trash, it would be burnt to ashes in the form of a mycelium candle.

 

Challenges

01. trash + fungi

Apart from coffe-grounds or oat straw, what kind of fungi can degrade and eat real harmful trash like plastic and how to get it?

http://www.mediamatic.net/252682/en/mold-that-eats-plastic

02. wax + fungi + fabrication

The final form of the mycelium candle should look nice that people would love to purchase it for real. Inspired by the organic texture of the outcome of our mycelium test, I think dyeing mycelium or soywax in a marble-like or water color way might be a nice approach.

The next question would be – to dye/color substrates before it grow or do it afterwards.During research I found a fungus experiment from this class in 2015, done by Arielle Hein and Pamela Liou, in which they did bunches of tests on dying mycelium as well as growing mycelium with beeswax. They found out that dyeing before it grew might be a better option and it is also possible to grow mycelium with beeswax.(I’d love to try soywax as it is the main ingredient which is used in making scented candle)

 

(photo credit to Arielle Hein)

 

03. the combustion

Is it safe to burn mycelium? It’s possible that during the combustion some toxic gas might be released or, luckily enough, some good gas(maybe dye it with natural pigment with healing effect)?

 

fungus week 2: inspiration and research

In reading the first several chapters of Mycelium Running, I was fascinated by how intelligent and important fungus is to maintain the ecosystem on earth. Among the ways by which fungus could save the world, I am most interested in mycofiltration and how mycelium could digest earth wastes.

 

Through these integrated,netted fabric of interconnected cells, slit, chemical toxins, bacterias could be removed or killed. Moreover, there is fungus that could be applied for eating plastic, fast and efficiently. In Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets gave us the idea of  cleaning world’s pollution by using mycelia to break down long-chain molecules of organic and inorganic matter into digestible form.

check this article out- http://www.mediamatic.net/252682/en/mold-that-eats-plastic

And as a Asian, yes I do enjoy eating mushrooms. Edible is another feature of fungus that I love. Thinking of mycofiltration and edible together, an idea came across my mind: Human activity generates wastes – fungus eat the wastes – human eat fungus. It seems to be a sad but sustainable cycle.

During research, a fungi cutlery project by livin studio came into my sight.

I feel this project a perfect mix of mycology, technology, and design, which aims to solve the global waste problem in a sustainable and humorous way.

 

 

Foraging the Futuristic Recycled Fruits of the Fungi Mutarium

http://www.livinstudio.com/fungi-mutarium/

http://www.livinstudio.com/fungi-cutlery