Could the buildings of the future be grown instead of built? Brunel University student Aleksi Vesaluoma has found a way to grow living structures using mushroom mycelium. Vesaluoma worked with architecture firm Astudio to create these Grown Structures, which offer a waste-free, organic alternative to conventional construction materials.
When mycelium grows on organic materials such as straw, it binds the matter together like glue. Aleksi Vesaluoma and Astudio mixed oyster mushroom mycelium with cardboard and poured the material into tube-shaped cotton bandages.
These tubular forms were then placed inside a ventilated greenhouse for four weeks to grow and strengthen. This process turns organic waste into nutrients for the growth of the mycelium – and it’s completely waste-free, since the structure is 100% biodegradable.
Grown Structures have prompted several attempts at commercialization in the USA and the Netherlands. The fact that the fungi which grow on the structures can also be eaten makes the project perfect for pop-up restaurants.