Mushroom Building Bricks
A visitor to New York this past summer would have had the opportunity to see first-hand the transformative properties of mycelium, a root material in fungus that grows into mushrooms, in a free-standing architecture installation at MoMA/PS1 (developed by previous People’s Design Award nominee Ecovative). Another person engaged with this technology is mycologist and mycotect Philip Ross, who has developed Mushroom Building Blocks. Beneath the surface, mushrooms grow mycelium, a network of thin, root-like fibers; when this is dried, it becomes an extremely strong building material, resistant to water, mold, and fire. Ross grows mushrooms in his lab and hopes that eventually his mycotecture will have a myriad of uses, serving as an eco-friendly building block for things like insulation and building foundations.