Fungi Mutarium Incubator

11th December 2014

Issues surrounding plastic in our waste streams and ways of breaking it down using fungi is an ongoing point of interest and discussion between designers, materiologists and scientists and one that is creating some intriguing propositions.

The Fungi Mutarium Incubator which was showcased in Eindhoven last week is the latest and mixes decomposition with future food. Designed in collaboration with Livin Studio and Utrecht University it cultivates mycelium within egg shaped pods made from agar (FU) whilst breaking down plastic as it grows.

Plastic is placed in the incubator along with diluted mycelium cultures which develop over the agar pods whilst slowly digesting the plastic and filling the space within them.

A slow process, it can take several months for the plastic to be fully digested by the fungi and research continues to speed this up, but what is interesting is that the agar pods can be removed at the end of the process and eaten.

The team have also come up with a recipe to create flavoured FU which can then be filled with other ingredients to make a full meal.

They have also designed a set of cutlery that has been designed specifically for eating the fungi from the pods.













Material Stories

4th December 2014

Inspired by topical research into the impact of man on earth and the new geological epoch that we are living through - 'The Anthroprecene', textile designer Emily Marsh is exploring a future aesthetic whereby artificial materials are merging with the organic environment resulting in hybrid materials.

The natural world is already redefining our future materials palette with these new material hybrids known as Plastoglomerates.

These new materials are disrupting nature with their unexpected collisions and are providing inspiration for a rash of designers including Marsh who has created a range of textually engaging and unsettling materials explorations – her Material Stories.












Wishful thinking, Wishful doing

2nd December 2014

“Substitute what causes harm” is the mantra from Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven.

One of the pioneers of the nature trend that is growing momentum, Tjeerd Veenhoven is interested in the process equally to the outcome which has resulted in the studio creating and exploring ecological projects that express the beautiful journey from concept to implementation.

Known for their palm leather project their pursuit of the alternative resulted in a stunning exhibit 'Wishful thinking, Wishful doing' during Dutch Design week.

One of the projects on show and in its infancy and yet to be named takes the waste tulip heads that are cut off the bulbs - one of Hollands most famous exports.

Extracting pigments from the heads they have found a pigment that has properties that aren't found in synthetic alternatives. Initially they planned to use them as an alternative to synthetic inks for printing on bio-plastic bags to make them truly biodegradable, but according to the studio the possibilities of the pigments are endless.

Alongside this an array of projects hint at how nature is being re invigorated into design with beautiful outcomes with stunning colour inspiration. Similarly to the Algaemy project and the Colour Provenance as well as Urtica Nettle Fabrics we are seeing a return to nature for its beautiful pigments.






Sea Me

3rd November 2014

Rugs and carpets were one of the over riding product choices during Dutch Design week (more to come on that in a separate post) but one particular rug has garnered a lot of attention is the Sea Me rug made from sea algae from designer Nienke Hoogvliet.

Wanting to draw attention to the contrast between the polluting plastic waste that humans are creating in the sea and the hidden beauty of the sea she hand knotted sea algae yarn with an old fishing net.

Sea algae grow much faster than cotton and could potentially provide a future more sustainable alternative.

The yarn is created using cellulose that is extracted from kelp seaweed and is harvested in South Africa. With similar properties to Viscose it has a naturally occurring organic aesthetic.

Hoogvliet dyed the yarn in varying shades of green that blend naturally into each other in keeping with the natural message that she is trying to get across about issues surrounding textile production and sustainability.






Ish

19th September 2014

The need to find new raw materials solutions from consumer waste continues to bring new materials to the materials palette as well as new aesthetics.

Showing during London Design Festival Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri have made furniture from old jeans, paper and cotton.

Similarly to Sophie Rowley (who is showing her work at Mint and Restless Futures) the final products bear no resemblance to their material origins.

The furniture and tableware looks like stone, but is in fact made from composite materials: slate-ish, denimite and marblus.

More commonly used for kitchen worktops and skate ramps, slate-ish is more akin to stone but is made from laminating recycled black paper.

Denimite as the name suggests is made from post-consumer denim waste, whilst marblus is made from white cotton and polyester salvaged from clothing, sheets and other white textile waste.

About


I use this blog as a notebook of inspirations – I post things I see and like and thoughts of mine. I don't revolve around a singular topic and neither does this blog. Everything and anything is relevant


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