How Growing Mushrooms Determine Furniture’s Shape [Pics]

A "zero-energy" form of 3D printing grows furniture designs.

Ross Brooks
Ross Brooks on August 9, 2013. @greenidealism

Furniture that grows itself is one way to look at the ‘The Living Room Project,’ an exploration into manufacturing objects from living organisms.

Two Philadelphia university students, Merjan Tara Sisman and Brian McClellan, had been investigating the potential of particular organisms before coming across mycelium, the rooting system used by mushrooms.

Using prefabricated moulds, the designers realized they could control the growth of the mushrooms, a process they like to think of as a zero energy form of 3D printing.


Their first successes came in the form of a chair designed by Sisman and a set of pendant lights designed by McClellan, both of which display the uncontrolled behavior and patterns of nature.

The project is ongoing and the pair have plans to include other organisms in their designs, as well as advance the types of moulds they are using, which could lead to more intricate furniture designs.

Merjan Tara Sisman and Brian McClellan

TOPICS: Design & Architecture, Home & Garden
Ross Brooks

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Ross is a freelance writer who specializes in topics about the environment, architecture, art, design and creative tech. He is passionate about making a difference with his writing, whether that’s to encourage social change, promote a great idea, or just share a little bit of beauty with the world. You can also find his work on Inhabitat and