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KQED Science

An Artist Dreams of a Fungal Future

“San Francisco-based artist Phil Ross has spent the last 20 years developing sustainable materials from mushrooms.

Although Ross originally cultivated mushrooms as food, he quickly became fascinated by their potential as an artistic medium. He started growing sculptures and other structural forms out of fungus. And through a process he calls “mycotecture,” Ross crafted furniture, interlocking blocks, and a small tea house.

Ross’s creations start out as bits of reishi mushroom, an edible fungus commonly sold as a health supplement. But he’s not growing the familiar fruiting bodies you’ll find at the store. Instead, Ross relies on the mushroom’s root structure, known as mycelium, to form the substance of his materials.

Feeding on agricultural waste such as sawdust or corn husks, the mycelium forms an interwoven network that can be molded into practically any shape.”

Read the full article on KQED.org