Most people pay attention to the part of the mushroom we see (and sometimes even eat) that grows above the ground – but what about the latticework of tendrils that intertwine inside the dirt from which they grow?
As it turns out, this malleable network can, per Philip Ross, “be used to form a super-strong, water-, mold- and fire-resistant building material. The dried mycelium can be grown and formed into just about any shape, and it has a remarkable consistency that makes it stronger, pound for pound, than concrete.” (via Inhabitat)
Stools and chairs are just the start – stone-like arches and eventually whole buildings may be yet to come. Like bamboo, the speed of growth and workability of the material make it a great candidate for locally-grown architecture, particularly in fungi-friendly climates. The strength of concrete, but easier to create and lightweight to boot – we have not seen the last of mushroom-based building technologies.