In this project Raffaele Errichiello and Ellinor Werner explore how mycelium can be used to produce solid structures just like other building materials and support our journey towards a circular economy.
This project visualizes possible futures where living matter is used in architecture while material and production experiments are carried out for the sake of bringing those futures closer to us. Building with living matter and producing by decomposing blurs the perceived divide between waste and resources and thereby becomes an article of interest for the circular economy. By generating illustrations with AI, concepts of living architecture come alive and feeds the imagination of what that may look like.
Building with fungi
Working with living matter means utilizing the growth and metabolism of other species to transform materials. Mycelium, the root-like structure of fungi, is one example of living matter that changes the nature of its feedstock and that can be used to create mycomaterials. In this project, the robust strain of G. Lucidum is used to decompose a wide spectrum of materials and transform it within a couple of days. The feedstock is partly based on waste material and several experiments were carried out to find the materials and processes necessary to create a mycomaterial that could be printed and used for construction.
Material for the future
With the proper biological knowledge about mycelium growth, the process can be used to produce solid structures just like other building materials. With additive manufacturing, the mycelium structures efficiently produce a protective outer layer while the flexibility of the production method allows for experimentation with biomimetic shapes. By hacking the lab equipment, existing tools can be used for new purposes and print more durable mycelium structures to make it meet architectural standards. Improvement of the code and settings of the print is crucial for accurate translations from digital models to physical results.
Learn more about the project
The project circulates around circular economy, generative design and material driven design.
Living Architecture is a project carried out by Raffaele Errichiello, researcher at UmArts, Umeå School of Architecture, supported by Ellinor Werner at RISE.