fungal futures

ontwerp: Maurizio Montalti

laswerk , perspex kappen, tekstborden, uitvoering

An exhibition about our Upcoming Future. Shaped by novel materials and processes relying on the fundamental role of fungal micro- organisms. A historical greenhouse, filled with projects envisioning novel advancements and potentially near futures, while re-imagining the way in which our domestic and social life will morph during the next decades.

FUNGAL FUTURES / Growing Domestic Bio - Landscapes,
presents the work of an international group of artists and designers who develop innovative materials and applications using mycelium, the rhizomic network of ‘fungal roots’.
Fungal mycelium consists of a dense network of interlocking filamentous cells, called hyphae. The mycelium can break down plant matter and convert the breakdown products while extending its network of hyphae.
This fungal behavior can be used to create biomaterials with novel properties. The materials may consist of a mixture of waste stream and mycelium (composites) or can be completely ‘pure’. Such fungal materials represent attractive alternatives to traditional synthetics as they are 100% natural, fully compostable, and resulting from waste streams.
The NWO project 'Mycelium Design' (Jan.2014 - Dec.2015) enabled collaboration between Utrecht University (UU), Officina Corpuscoli (OC)
and Stichting Mediamatic (MM).
Through an open call, the partners have invited artists and designers to participate in the project as part of the Myco Design Lab.
Along the duration of the project, OC and UU developed a palette of materials by making use of natural variation, environmental growth conditions, and genetic modification.
These materials were provided to the selected artists and designers, who explored their potential (qualities and opportunities) and provided Officina Corpuscoli (Maurizio Montalti) Witte de Withstraat 108 hs, 1057 ZG Amsterdam - NL feedback about the way properties needed to be improved to meet requirements for a range of specific products and applications.
The projects on show as part of FUNGAL FUTURES, have all been developed as part of innovative research processes that operate at the intersection of design and science. The creatives, working in direct consultation with scientists, have adopted and developed unorthodox novel methodologies and techniques, as part of their practice.
FUNGAL FUTURES presents work of designers and artists who were involved in the NWO project ‘Mycelium Design’, as well as projects of selected invited creatives working along the same principles.
The exhibition aims to demonstrate the generation of a near future in which fungal organisms will be one of the main actors leading towards a responsible social development.
In the Oude Hortus in the Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht, a constellation of tangible visions will show how working with living organisms and systems could lead to ground-breaking innovative outcomes affecting society and our ecosystem, while informing and impacting current existing paradigms, systems and networks.

met: Wouter de Baat en Tom Wagenaar