It started with a chair but like roots of a tree the possibilities run far further and deeper than this – someday we could be growing architecture this way as well.
Studio Eric Klarenbeek (‘designer of the unusual’) produced the Mycelium Chair, which uses straw as a 3d-printed growth medium and bio-plastic to contain the shape while mycelium fills out the form and provides the structural strength for the seat.
Klarenbeek worked with specialists at the University of Wageningen on this project. The mushrooms sprouting out from it are a secondary effect, a sort of accidental decor growing out from the main structure and a way to tell the story of its production.
“Designer Eric Klarenbeek interest is combining materials in unexpected ways. Klarenbeek is exploring ways of making 3D prints of living organisms, such as mycelium, the threadlike network in fungi. He uses experimental raw materials for printing material: organic substrate for mushroom growing and bioplastics.”
“Working with scientists, Klarenbeek has printed a chair from straw, with a thin coating of bioplastic. Once it is mature it should be strong enough to support a person. The chair is a metaphor for what can be achieved with materials and production methods. “
“Studio Klarenbeek & Dros are the first in the world who have 3D-printed living mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. A technology we are developing since 2011. Combining the threadlike network of fungi with local raw materials, enables us to create products with a negative carbon footprint. “
“Using this infinite natural source as a living glue for binding organic waste. Once it’s full-grown and dried, it turns into a structural, stable and renewable material, comparable to cork or wood. “
“The plant material produces oxygen during its life cycle, and our production process eliminates the necessity of heating materials in the printing process, thus reducing the use of energy. Adding up those two facts, combined with the use of local resources and production, it becomes possible to create products with a negative ‘carbon footprint’. Instead of wasting less, we strive to absorb emission. After use, the product is fully compostable, and can be disposed without harming the environment. On the contrary, it will fertilize our surroundings! “