— Podcast

MycoWorks Talk 03

Embracing The Mystery with Phil Ross

“The road to Mars leads through a fungus,” shares MycoWorks co-founder and CTO, Phil Ross. In this episode, Xevi Gallego, VP of Brand and Marketing and host, takes us on an inspiring conversation with artist, chef, entrepreneur and mycelium pioneer, Phil Ross. Phil shares his initial exploration with mycelium, the similarities between cooking and growing mushrooms, how his background as an artist shaped the way in which he learned and experienced mycelium, and how MycoWorks is becoming an art piece of its own. 

“It’s surprising to me how we rediscover mycelium every generation or so.” 

“Mycelium is hard to read, it’s hard to appreciate its beauty because it’s a little bit challenging, ugly, grotesque. That was people’s first reaction to it and my challenge: how could I transform its appearance by changing and modifying its environment.” 

“A lot of people think about problems scientifically, as if there was a scientific answer to them and with this organism there’s so much we don’t understand. You just have to accept it: you don’t know why, but it does the thing you want it to do. But you don’t know why. So, who cares? We’re resolving that. We’re trying to figure out the why.” 

“It’s so new and interesting now, but the dream is for this material to be boring. For you not to even realize it but it’s everywhere.”

“To all the people working on life on Mars: come and talk to us! You’re not going to get anywhere without the mushrooms. The road to Mars leads through a fungus.”

So there’s a profound lesson in that, if we want to perpetuate things further, we have to figure out some of the things that are around us in nature. And again, going back to that reading and writing, we have to learn to read nature a lot better. And so that’s why it’s kind of a delicious challenge. Can we accept the wisdom that’s required to decipher it?”

In this episode:
04:00 – Phil’s background as a professional chef and the similarities between cooking and mycelium growing
14:00 – Growing a mushroom tea house: the moment people grasped the utility of mycelium as a material
20:00 – MycoWorks: a living organism that’s growing in unexpected directions
26:00 – The challenge and difficulty of bringing a new material into the world
36:22 – Mycelium in outer space

MycoWorks Talks is a space to feed your wonder and curiosity for a new class of materials. Xevi Gallego, our VP of Brand Marketing, hosts talks with cool people in the MycoWorks universe, taking you on a behind-the-scenes journey of unfiltered conversations about our product, technology, our incredible team, and much more. 

If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes each month and if you have episode ideas or feedback, please review. We love to hear from you!To learn more about MycoWorks, follow our journey on instagram at @MycoWorks.