Buy already grown products or get the material and grow them yourself; Ecovative has great solutions for various industries, notably for those of architecture and design.
Created to produce materials made from mycelium, the root structure of fungi, the USA company Ecovative operates with what is known as Advanced Growing (AG) and currently has three types of materials on the market—with case studies including top brands such as Dell, Ikea, Biomason, Gunlocke and Sealed air.
AG involves materials coming from controlled cultivation of organisms (bacteria, yeasts, algae, mycelium, etc.) which are directly cultivated and / or produced in their final form, function and performance, exploiting the natural growth behavior of organisms (bio-manufacturing).
Ten years ago, The first material produced by the Ecovative platform was MycoComposite, an alternative to expanded polystyrene packaging. This material is currently used by large companies such as Dell and Ikea to make their packaging.
The raw material used is of agricultural origin, parts of plants that cannot be used for food or to produce feed, therefore with a low economic value. The process involves the cultivation of trays of mycelium combined with a nutrient substrate. These trays are placed inside tunnels in which the transformation process takes place, which takes 5-7 days. By controlling the temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, airflow and other factors, it is possible to control the geometry, density, size and shape of the material. Furthermore, after its use, the packaging can be safely composted in a domestic system.
Photo Credits: GrowLamp by Danielle Trofe and plant bots by Grown.bio. Courtesy of Grown.bio.
A fresh design label called Grown.bio uses MycoComposite. This Netherlands-based brand aims for high performance and natural products that are safe and sustainable. They grow packaging and interior design products.
READ more about how they function and what they do here.
In 2016, Grown.bio began its venture by growing lampshades using Ecovative’s GIY kits. Following suit rather quickly, the company made a pouf, a table and a wine cooler. Grown.bio has since been building its portfolio of interior products.
Fast-forwarding to today, Grown.bio partnered with Danielle Trofe from New York, to bring her beautiful range of MushLume lamps to Europe for Milan Design Week 2020—sadly canceled due to the pandemic.
Either way, the trend is on, and we can’t wait to see what will come next.