Artist and designer Tobias Revell has imagined a future in which the massive city of New Mumbai is powered by energy-generating mushrooms! In his sci-fi "documentary" Revell explains how a futuristic synthetic biology research lab discovers their fungi samples have been stolen by Indian thieves who have quickly learned to adapt the technology for their personal and community needs. An underground market for the magic mushrooms begins to grow, commerce increases, and living conditions begin to improve in a dramatic and environmentally friendly way.
Tobias Revell‘s faux documentary shows how the mushrooms grow quickly and begin to harvest the sun, creating energy that provides heat and lighting, like an organic solar panel. They can even be engineered to power a whole building. Some grow strong enough to be used as shelter, parts of building structures, and surfaces to grow local crops. The mushrooms’ benefits expand even further as the clever residents of the Dharavi Mumbai slums discover new features. Their porous surfaces also absorb water from the seasonal downpours, which can be collected and used for drinking and bathing.
While Revell’s ideas may seem far fetched, they certainly capture the social and economic issues of Mumbai, and present a truly unique solution. The film encourages creative eco-friendly problem solving on a large scale, which may not be too hard to believe in the future.