From DIY to GIY (Grow It Yourself): Ecovative gives us a range of Mushroom®Materials to work and play with.
Sustainable products make their way into our lives–our projects and design vocabulary– in neat, prescribed ways; In pre-decided formats and applications.
A catalog or video defines for us, exactly what a certain product or material does, telling us it was created in the most environmentally sensitive of ways.
There isn't a lot of scope to personalize or customize these products.
So what happens, when a smart, attractive solution or material arrives at your doorstep, in a raw, moldable format. When you have the option to pick from premade organic packaging, foam or board, or simply grab a big bag of grainy, textured material, take it home and 'grow' it into any permanent form you like.
Biomaterials manufacturer Ecovative is responsible for a graduation from the DIY (Do it yourself) way to, as they call it, a Grow-It-Yourself (GIY) approach. Ecovative uses three ingredients to create it's signature Mushroom® Materials: Agricultural waste, mushroom mycelium and time.
These three ingredients are processed and worked together to create a signature mixture. Then, the resultant Mushroom® Material is processed into a few different end products. Myco Foam–an organic substitute for Styrofoam and other similar packaging material; Myco Board, a composite board which can take any form, and uses mycelium as glue (implying no Formaldehyde). And lastly, there is Myco Make– GIY bags of the dehydrated Mushroom® Material that anyone can mix with flour and water to create a growing substance that will take the shape of any mold.
Fortune 500 companies have begun using the Myco Foam for packaging their products, and the interior applications of Myco Board are already extensive, while Ecovative is developing future applications for insulation and Acoustics. Our favorite part of the Ecovative materials story, however, are their bags of unformed Mushroom ® Material.
Here is why we recommend them as a superb tool for 'Making'; Whether you are designer, science nerd or just in the mood for experimentation at home.
1) Customizable: Experience the childlike joy of working with a plastic, handheld material, while creating permanent, ecologically sensitive final products.
2) Compostable: Don't like what you created? Or your creation is approaching the end of its useful life? Break it down with your fingers and leave it in the soil to compost. It will.
3) Robust: Its components may be crumbly and organic, but that, in no way limits the firm and supportive quality of products like the Myco Board, Foam and even GIY products.
Designers are already using the Mushroom® Material to create signature interiors products and lighting fixtures. Check out New York-based designer Danielle Trofe's MushLume lighting collection.
Do write to us, or comment below, and share with us how you would use this series of products in an innovative way!