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How Growing Mushrooms Determine Furniture’s Shape [Pics]

How Growing Mushrooms Determine Furniture’s Shape [Pics]

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

Ross Brooks

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

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