Bellec & Fussner
“Mycelia Side Table, Iteration N° 01 + 01”, 2014
Mycelia grown bio-composite, galvanized steel.
Dimension: 18x 27 3/4 x 15 1/4 in. (? cm.)
Produced for Material Spectrum Lab, New York. Number one from the edition of 3. Table top grown grown in New York city, made from a pine-chip & sawdust bio-composite. Underside of table with leather tag laser with artist’s signatures and ““Variation N˚ 01 + 01, 2014/05/16/Collection Mycelia Side Tables/Edition Material Spectrum Lab, limitèe à 03 exemplaires.” Comprising of one table, the original prototype.
Paul Stamets talk about how mushrooms can save the world inspired us to explore the properties of this bio-material. Prior to this talk we had also developed a slight ambient awareness towards the potential of mycelia as innovative bio material that has the potential to impact our planet. Without this awareness I do not think we would have fully committed ourselves to learning and discovering more about mycelia and its amazing properties. The inquiry into this medium has been extremely fun as we are considering to keep using the medium through the summer to see what sort of furniture we can grow. There are only a handful of people around the world actually using this material to grow furniture, one of the Phil Ross (coincidentally my brother’s professor at USF) is flagship artist. Any sort of aesthetically pleasing design that also performs structural integrity would be able to warrant a decent amount of attention from customer or potential media.
Brief: Grow a planar surface out of mycelia that will act as a table top surface. We then combined the mycelia with a found material, in this case we looked towards piping to create a foundation structure. Scroll over pictures to see action caption.
The biggest take away so far from our experimentations with mycelia as a medium is that it is undeniably an a resilient bio-material, a living structure. Conceptually if you think about growing structure, it’s quite mind blowing and a huge departure from current materials that are used to build, construct and complete things.
We have just finished growing the table, it has been baked and we will be posting another status update in the coming days. We are now growing another batch of mycelia culture to create several more side table forms and potentially other types of furniture.
The use of material in a larger context is subject to many potential roadblocks, at this point in time very little people are using this material. This is good for us (Ambroise & myself) if we want to release some work since we will be considered “innovators” in the field, however for a future with a more diverse array of building materials there need to be more people working with the material. That will be the difference between mycelia, hemp, bast fibers, and other bio materials.
Proprietary strains is an extremely short sighted measure, if the businesses and people that are committed to creating a more diverse material spectrum in our world then this knowledge should be opensource. At the end of the day, a hobbyist more often than not won’t setup a competing packaging company and try to undercut you.