Mycologist Philip Ross is seriously into mushrooms, but not as a food — instead, he uses fungi as a building material. Beneath the surface of the ground, fungi form a wide network of thin, rootlike fibers called mycelium. That part of the fungus isn’t particularly tasty, but Ross discovered that when dried, it can 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. The 100% organic and compostable material has even piqued the interest of NYC’s MoMa PS1, where the award-winning Hy-Fi Mushroom Tower pavilion is currently being built.
“I want to demonstrate how you can create this kind of fabrication using local agricultural waste,” Ross told Food Republic regarding his Workshop Residence furniture.
A variety of different lacquers and finishes can also be applied to the outer layer of the brick to seal it and give it a glossy finish.
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