Sebastian Cox & Ninela Ivanova, Mycelium & Timber © Petr Krejci Photography

Fungi Futures: Movements in Mycelium

Thu 16 Apr 2020
19.00 - 20.30
£10.00 / £8.00 conc
Screening Room
South Wing

This evening talk will explore the organic phenomena of mycelium both in the natural world and in design.

Mycelium, the thread-like underground root network of Fungi often referred to as the Wood Wide Web is vital to the survival of our natural environment. By forming bonds with the root networks of plants and trees mycelium forms an underground network capable of passing nutrients and warning messages from plant to plant. It is also crucial in the breakdown of dead plants and organisms, revitalising soil and enabling new life to grow.

Author and fungal biologist Merlin Sheldrake will discuss his ongoing research into these natural wonders and mychorrizal fungi (those than form mutually beneficial connections associations between plant roots). Merlin's book, Entangled Life: Fungal Networks and Intimacies is out in May 2020 published by Random House.

Mycelium can also be nurtured in lab situations as a biodegradable alternative to plastic and has been used to create clothing, shoes, artwork and furniture. At the forefront of these developments at the intersection of sustainability and design is Ehab Sayed founder of Biohm, an organisation that use biological systems to drive innovation in domestic design. Sayed will discuss his research and the landmark projects of the company from with product designers through to producing mycelium based insulation on an industrial scale.

The talk will ask whether investigating and embracing the natural world can inform and improve our everyday life and find solutions to man made environmental crises.

5. Kristel Peters, ‘Mycoschoen’, courtesy of the artist.jpg

Kristel Peters, ‘Mycoschoen’, courtesy of the artist
Kristel Peters, ‘Mycoschoen’, courtesy of the artist

The Mushrooms talks programme is kindly supported by the Gaia Art Foundation.

Gaia Art Foundation