3D printing is all the rage these days and we have designers trying very hard to incorporate the technique into mainstream design. However, 3D printing is very expensive and it’s quite polluting too. But we still have designers that are trying to use nature’s own methods to create 3D printed furniture. The latest example of this comes to us courtesy
of Philadelphia University students Brian McClellan and Merjan Tara Sisman.
The designers are currently working on a project what aims
at trying to incorporate living materials into the production of furniture.
Dubbed ‘the living room project’, the range of furniture
uses mycelium, the fungus that can be understood as being one half of a
mushroom seed, as the basis for what can be thought of as organic 3D printing.
Since the fungus basically grows and grows until it is mated
to another kind of fungus before it can bear mushrooms, it can be molded into
The designers used this particular property of the fungus to
fabricate furniture through a zero energy process by simply controlling the growth
of the organism.
For the range, McClellan has designed a set of pendant
lights while Sisman has designed a chair and both objects use only the living
composite as their core material.
The designers have not stated whether the furniture and lights
still have living organisms within them upon completion or whether these items
would just be as susceptible to rotting and degenerating as most living
organisms are known to do.
The designers also haven’t stated whether the items have a
shelf life or not and whether they would attract other living organisms (that
feed on fungi) to spaces in which these unique items are placed. Also, since
these organisms are carbon based life forms, they might also be very
inflammable which isn’t a good thing for light fixtures for sure!