The Living's organic bricks are produced by combining corn stalks (left over after corn processing) and specially developed living root structures called mycelium, derived from mushrooms. These base components, pioneered by the biomaterial company Ecovative, are placed together in molds and allowed to biologically cement through fungal growth. When used as building blocks, the resulting mycelium bricks create a structure that temporarily diverts the natural carbon cycle to produce architecture that grows out of nothing but earth and returns to nothing but earth—with no waste, no energy, and no carbon emissions. This “low-tech biotech” approach offers a new vision for our society’s approach to physical objects and the built environment through living structures that respond to current crises of material sustainability.
Gallery label from This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good, February 14, 2015–January 31, 2016.