Mycelia Side Table – 2014 – Bellec & Fussner

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.




Bio Sculpture Foundation – A Dialogue With Tuber Plants

For my 3D print I though to expand on material interaction and basic system cycles. I am interested in expressing cycles in work, I am not sure why, I use to work in business and although cycles exist in this space most of them are single throughput cycles. There is no regeneration of materials, post use scenarios are not considered. Since post use scenarios are not factored into many designs we live in we have to deal with the consequences of post-use design scenarios, also known as externalities, a nice way to box all  problems that are not of direct consequence to our actions into a single word. Although inherently this piece is not even a pure representation of the idea, it does convey the idea of a post-design scenario, where the work keeps existing and interacting with it surroundings.

Much like a plastic bottle we throw away interacts with a multitude of different systems, my thoughts on a plastic bottle:

“Something that comes to mind is that many of us forget that a piece of waste, in this case a bottle or a can continues to design even after it’s intended use. What I mean by this is that the bottle passes through various systems after it’s initial use, man-made systems like garbage disposal and non-human systems like the ocean. The bottle continues to impact and design the space around it. For example a bottle might enter an ocean, the bottle might perform a number of different actions in the ocean such as floating, sticking with other agents, interacting with living creatures or even breaking down and manifesting itself beyond a singular existence of just being a bottle. Sometimes bottles change form back into something more of a polymer structure break itself down to hundreds of millions of little bits and starts to design on a micro level. Can you imagine a coca-cola bottle designing on the micro level?! Not many things have the ability to change form and operate on different scales but plastic bottles do. The bottle starts interacting at the base of the chain and ecosystem. However it’s design impact is plentiful and efficient harnessing ocean currents these polymers are able to spread and diffuse where ever the power of the ocean takes them. In many cases these polymers diffuse within the ocean food chain. However we don’t know what that will mean for us humans who may not see the effects of bio magnification till our children are born. We do reside at the very top of the foodchain despite our inclination towards other top predators. Since we are at the top of the food chain the magnification of the polymers/petrochemicals in a diet that consist of more seafood could be disastrous. I think understanding the implications of a bottle’s journey and its ability to continue designing and impacting spaces even after it has finished it’s initial task that we designed it for could be a story that may change a persons perspective after they’ve seen the systemic impact of just one bottle, let alone hundreds of millions of plastic bottles.”


In class we experimented with two types of board making.  Aisen hacked inkjet cartridge with a nano-technology silver ink to print circuits.

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However the process I used was the sharpie and acid to create my board.



Using the diagrams on the board I drew my board out, soaked it for about forty minutes and began to solder my components.

There were a few issue with my board especially with thin circuit lines, but they were easily fixed with solder.


One issue I had was that instead of the distance between my finger tip and pencil tip changing the pitch, the pitch grew slowly higher regardless of the distance until it went silent/supersonic. I’m assuming something with the capacitor not releasing the charge, or maybe something solder backwards? Regardless, it does work sometimes… I’ve since used it in Japanese class.

Flying Saucer Ash Tray

For  my 3D print I wanted to build some sort of appliance that I would use. My roomate had kept bugging me about how we needed an ash tray because we didn’t have one and we kept using bottle caps and cups. That same room mate and I share a love for science fiction so I decided to model a flying saucer ash tray.

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There were a few features I tried to include in my model. First and foremost I wanted it to look like a flying saucer so I modeled the disk shape first  and added  engine shapes top the underside. 

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Then I pulled a section of the underside down so that I would have space to bring a dish down into. Using the same symmetry I put in the dish and a few dipped ‘holder’  sections. I pulled the dips inwards to provide a bit more surface area for the un-identified smoking object to rest on.

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When deciding how big to make the dish compared to the saucer I tried to make enough space around the edge of the dish to allow for falling ash. I hate when people get ash all around the ash tray but not in it. This happened a lot when we used bottle caps.

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I divided the saucer ring into the same symmetry but rotated, slightly dropping each section so that they themselves were somewhat of a tray.

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My first attempt to print was ruined because I had a check-marked supports, but no rafts. Because of this the supports had nothing to sit on except the makerbot’s base, and since I had extreme overhangs it wasn’t having it.

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I re-printed it with a raft and it went much smoother. My print time was about seven hours. There were many supports and the disk was thin so it was quite difficult to remove all of them, took me a few hours and still wasn’t perfect. Next time i think i would print it vertically on it’s side instead of flat so that there would be less supports to remove.


I have yet to cast my tray and recreate it with plaster, but in the mean time it’s been pretty useful…


If I were to reprint my tray I would make the jet engine features on the underside bigger so that they touched the table (even with the bottom). When you touch the outer edges it wobbles a bit.

Duration – Final Project

Duration :: putting Forward Notions of Time-space Relativity through Life Forms

Duration is created with the single cellular organism Euglena. The aim of the piece is to artistically convey the notion of time and it’s relatedness to Cartesian rhythms, juxtaposing the anthropocentric point of view with the greater notion of life on earth.









Time measures space. As beautiful as it sounds, logic always only relates to a given point of reference, leaving out – in order to be ‘pure’ logic – all the other points of reference. Of course, one might continue to set one reference against the other…
Our world is entering a chapter in which we can avoid the dichotomy between man and nature. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, certainly.

As life goes on, we accumulate experiences of space related to the material conditions and events that our human sensors detect. These we keep as memories. Also influenced by light conditions. In clear daylight I can estimate the dimensions by eye. In the dark, I am lost. I can only try to feel my way across a space, but the obstacles I encounter make the space bigger because they enlarge the time-span that I need to cross from one point to another. So duration offers a much more complex tool for measurement.


Duration is pseudo-utilitarian object, inviting the viewer to broaden their perspective of time as an absolute, and invite humble thoughts regarding the time scale of other life forms in which we stem from. Time is a flux, and humanity has chosen to measure it in relation to space – the shadow of the dial moving graciously and systematically around the Euglena reminds us of our artificial constructs, which notion is pushed further as the object emits light nighttime. We have always made a stark distinction between night and day, and








A self-contained object that makes things inclusive rather than exclusive, generate energy, light and space. When you look at this object you seem to be looking at the bigger picture. We are attempting to anticipate the object’s possible impact on the atmosphere and how it will be to live with and around it. It is a balance between nature and technology. It tells time through life and central to the object’s life is a single cellular organism: Euglena.

As organisms that go through photosynthesis they put forward the idea of a self-contained living ‘thing’ that blends with its environment and responds to the cycle of life. The object lives outside during the ‘day’ creating shapes and patterns of Euglena conglomerations over time, visible to the naked eye through the green color. The coupling of the sundial aesthetic and function with the solar energy system create an interesting and direct allegory to the nature of the Euglena. It functions similar to the living matter.

IMG_3443The 12 miniature solar cells grab the energy from the sun and store it into lithium ion rechargeable batteries to use it during nighttime. The circuit enables the powering of the light feature and therefor lights up softly during the night to keep the Euglena happy and well. Nature and technology are in osmosis and live in this spatiotemporal piece, putting forward notions of time-space relativity by creating a self- sustainable timepiece. The technical aspects where designed to be subtle, shining through the translucent Plexiglass; they evidently demonstrate their purpose without distraction.

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Time lapse video – vimeo :: this video is a time lapse of the project shot on the rooftop of Genspace : New York City’s Community Biolab

in collaboration with Fabiola Einhorn

Final Project

It seemed like a good idea at the time…

So, originally I had chosen to work with homemade bioplastics. I thought I should create something useful, something i needed. So, I decided to go with a set of cutlery that i would mold out of bioplastics that I made at home. Seemed easy enough. But I had nothing but problems.

To start, I did research into different recipes of bioplastics, especially hydrophobic bioplastics which could be used for eating, etc. I ended up with this recipe. It seemed easy, but it wasn’t. I had constant problems with the exact formulations, and it took days to cure. I thought that I would soon find a formulation that would work, but it either came out too gooey or so brittle it cracked. I couldn’t seem to get a middle-ground area. It all came out garbage.

I’m not really sure what i was doing wrong. The mixture, the oven maybe, I’m not really sure. I tend to also do this with food a lot, so perhaps i should have anticipated problems. What’s more, I was almost out of money for my project. With so many bad batches, I thought I should instead use a material that was easier to work with, so I made a last-ditch effort to make epoxy molds and then cast in clear acrylic.

This also went poorly.



In the end, perhaps because I didn’t use enough Vaseline or something, But molding from epoxy turned out to very problematic– and unfortunately ultimately too expensive to try again, as I had run completely out of money. So this didn’t work out, and now I’m broke.

Material Spectrum Final – Bio Rice. Auriel &Nicholas

After experimenting with bio-plastics we wanted to continue our experimentation. We initially wanted to explore applications of our bio-plastics. Plastic bags, pouches and other items usually made from fabrics. We wanted to create thin layers that we could potentially cut and sew.


We had the ideal to change the attributes of the base bio-plastics, to mimic different sorts of fabrics.

we had the condition that: The extra ingredient had to be a raw material that was bio degradable.

We were interested in using rice, because of it’s quality to soak up water/liquid. we wanted to see if we could have the rice soak up our bio-plastic concoction and become a material that could be used for sculptures or even like the fabric-like materials that we initially set out to create.

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we tried two different methods, one with cooked rice and one with raw rice. we tried to soak the rice in our mixture before we heat it up, but in order to get the rice to soak up nicely it needed heat.

For the most part the plastics would start to harden before the rice could fully soak up. However, we were successful in creating a few big spreads that were pretty thin, as well as some more dense collections.


The outcome of the bio-plastic/rice mixture seemed to hold properties of insulation. We decided to make several coasters and pot holders from the mixture of cooked rice while we planned to cut and sew the sheet of bio-plastic/raw rice mixture due to its thinner sheet like consistency which would have made for an interesting material to use for making fabric base items.






Final Project

For my final project, I combined a lot of material research and experimentation to create a few different prototypes to support my major studio 2 research.  The project speculates the future of wearable tech as it relates to a changing landscape:

In the year 2050…

…the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, the projections are that the global average temperature will be 8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than present by 2050. That amount of warming will likely lock us into at least 4 to 6 meters of sea-level rise in subsequent centuries, because parts of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will slowly melt away like a block of ice on the sidewalk in the summertime. At 3 meters (almost 10 feet), on average more than 20 percent of land in those cities could be affected. Nine large cities, including Boston and New York, would have more than 10 percent of their current land area submerged (Source: UA’s Institute of the Environment.)

New developments are emerging everyday about this:

A large portion of the world’s population lives in coastal areas. Even a 1-meter rise will affect 100 million people worldwide; higher sea level rises will affect even more. A 2- meter rise in seas is enough to submerge huge expanses of commercial and residential real estate, dispossessing people, forcing migrations away from coastal areas, and putting an end to the productive use of developed land along coast lines and flood-susceptible waterways.

My final project focused on developing future wearable products for humans living in aquatic environments.


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This piece is an experimentation in using bioluminescent algae as a “material” and functional light source for the wearer at night.

Bioluminescent dinoflagellates are a type of planktonic algae inhabiting coastal ocean waters. Individual cells of Pyrocystis species are relatively large, and slightly discernible to the unaided eye. At night, bioluminescent dinoflagellates emit blue light, called bioluminescence, in response to movement in the water. Bioluminescence becomes visible only after nightfall, driven by a circadian rhythm which is entrained by light-dark cycles. Bioluminescence can only be observed during the entrained night
period, and is best observed several hours after nightfall. Abruptly moving a culture of Pyrocystis from light to dark will not result in bioluminescence, due to the circadian control of this chemical reaction.

Here is video documentation of me testing the algae:

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This piece is my interpretation of a wearable coral prosthetic that is designed to be able to support underwater plant life and sea creatures. I modeled the coral in Maya and printed the pieces on the Objet printer. Again I was interested in developing devices that promoted a symbiotic relationship between the human body and their immediate environment (in this case being an aquatic setting).

I also added bioplastics into the experimentation process to see what would happen. I had failed with bioplastics before, but this time I decided to follow the recipes that were successful from my classmates.

I used 1 tsp glycerin,1 tsp vinegar,  4tsp water, 1 tbs tapioca starch

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I tried embedding 3d printed scales that I made into the plastic itself to see what the result would be. It turned out to be interesting because the plastic added more flexibility to the pieces. I ended up not using this method for my final piece (which was a muscle sensor that triggered sound), but have ideas for more experiments with bioplastics in the future.


Final Project


So initially I had wanted to work with Kombucha and make a book, but that wasn’t going to pan out so instead I continued my midterm with materials and techniques from both parts of the semester.

Using 2 of my 3D printed skulls from this past winter, I created a two part mold. It was nice to be able to make molds at the same time because the prints are identical!

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Using the recipe that worked best last time Janni and I tried bio-plastics, my first cast came out pretty solid. Unfortunately, although using the same exact recipe I was not able to make another cast that was even remotely useable, and neither were the experiments. I thought that the issue was the shape of the face of the skull mold being too nonuniform and not allowing the mixture to cure properly. This doesn’t seem to be the case because I tried to make multiple casts in both molds and neither were successful.

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What is certainly successful was the rubber mold; it captured the detail of each layer of the 3D print which is interesting in terms of a cast object. The visual languages and technique are inherently juxtaposed. 
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SO in order to get a successful skull I made some in plaster:
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(Accidental combo of bioplastic and plaster)

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In the end I am pleased with the plaster casts, I think it would be interesting to try and combine the materials and see how they adhere/do not adhere/ create new textures. DSC00605 copyDSC00606 copy
To continue this project I would like to mix materials, make a large quantity of these and install them in a space.




natural dye // bio paint


I experimented with natural dyes and making bio paint with several different materials. Most of the processes involved boiling or juicing things to retrieve the color, however it was difficult to establish the viscosity that is needed for paint. The natural dye yielded a better outcome due to the fixative that I created by boiling vinegar and water. I imagine that if I boiled things for longer periods of time, the strength of the colors would’ve have been more vibrant and not as faded as they appear on the fabric. Some ingredients had absolutely no effect, for example coffee grinds, but I think it was also due to the time it was boiled for.

I looked at several different blogs to assist with making this bio paint and natural dye. I found that most of the dying processes were to help with food coloring, so there was already a mixture that could retain the color from the fruits or vegetables. The paint I created involved using the coloring from the boiling process along with corn starch. I think if I added more corn starch, the paint would’ve been thicker but there is also no permanence with this biopaint. The liquids were very watercolor-like and would fade after painting a stroke or so. I believe that the paint probably needed some ingredient that would attach to the surface better, and corn starch is too temporary.

The PDF I attached has all the documentation of this process. I think certain colors already have a natural vibrancy that can be easily extracted and so the beets were very effective whereas the lemons weren’t strong enough.