The sculptural Mycelium Chair by Dutch designer Eric Klarenbeek is a seat that was created using fungi, straw and 3D printing technology. The development of this new durable material merges futuristic technology with biological processes.
Klarenbeek worked with scientists at the University of Aachen to determine how to 3D-print living material. Mycelium is the thread-like network found in fungus, which was mixed with straw and water and put inside the printer. When printed, the living mycelium continued to grow, replacing the water, to create a solid material. Klarenbeek stopped the growing process by drying out the chair and covering it with a thin layer of bioplastic. While Klarenbeek allowed mushrooms to grow out of the chair, it was only as a design element. Rather than the chair being a functional piece, it is a presentation of a concept. Klarenbeek explained to Dezeen:
This chair is really a metaphor for what could be made with this technique of 3D printing a living organism and then have it grow further. It could be a table, a whole interior or even a house. We could build a house with it.
The chair is currently on displaying during Dutch Design Week.
Click below to see more of the Mycelium Chair: