growing bricks

my grandfather enjoyed growing champignons in a dark sandy cave. maybe he could have been growing a small house too…

Mycotecture, or the creation of architectural forms with fungus, is being pioneered by Philip Ross at Far West Fungi in California. He doesn’t use the caps of the mushroom; he’s interested in the mycelium, the white root-like fibers that form a network in the soil below. Grown in a mold, and then dried, it is an amazing material. It is nontoxic, fireproof, mold-resistant and extremely tough. […] Mushrooms are grown by packing sawdust into airtight bags, then steam cooking the packed bags for several hours. After these pasteurized wood chips have cooled down small pieces of mushroom tissue are introduced into the bag, which eagerly devours the neutralized wood. As the fungus digests and transforms the contents of the bag it solidifies into a mass of interlocking cells, slowly becoming denser and taking form. […] After the mushroom tissue has colonized all of the sawdust the tops of the bags are cut off and moved into a growing room with high humidity. The bricks are then unwrapped and moved to a drying room for about a month.” [Source> technovelgy]

thanks laura & tanner!

[all images> mycotecture installation out of fungus bricks by philip ross via technovelgy]

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