Long ago, we talked about a certain designer who created furniture items from Mycelium, the vegetative part of mushrooms. Now the unique scope is notched up to yet another level with Ecovative ‘growing’ an entire house out of mushroom components! And by ‘entire’ we not only mean the building, but also the assortment of house-wares inside the building. So, how exactly was the ridiculously organic project achieved? Well, the designers constructed the sample structure with pine wood, while filling its wall cavity with a specially concocted fungal mix. This fungal entity serves as the natural insulation with ‘regeneration’ properties. In other words, the insulation layer can remarkably grow back by itself, even if it is damaged by some external force.
The process for making the fungal mix is organic with completely natural ingredients like seed hulls from rice, buckwheat and oats with Mycelium. The mixture of these by-products is then cleaned by using steam and finally ‘enhanced’ with Mycelium tissue culture. The resultant composite is distributed into various molds, and the fungus is left to grow naturally. So, when the blend is left in dark for a few days, the fungus chemically digests the whole blend, thus ultimately binding the sturdy ingredients into a structural entity. These ‘cultivated’ structures follow the form of the molds, which provides us with items like furniture boards and wine shippers.
The designers do assure us that as a final design technique, the items are dehydrated and heat-treated, so that the growing fungus is killed (which stops its growth). And, in case you are worried about allergies, the products are conceived by using non-allergic Mycelium spawn instead of mushroom spores, thus making them totally allergen-free.