Mycelium Structure Prototype #3
Canhui Chen, John Sadar + Linus Tan, Swinburne University of Technology
Can grown materials replace manufactured materials? Can the products of natural processes lead us to more ecological cities? Can biological processes be harnessed to improve our built environments?
In collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IaaC), Swinburne University runs an annual Global Summer Studio. This studio seeks to explore alternative processes to mitigate the environmental impact of a world of unprecedented urbanisation. Our existing built environment and manufacturing models exploit and deplete our physical and biological natural resources, and produce byproducts which we now understand to have harmful consequences. At the same time, we recognise that natural processes involve closed-loop processes, in which pollutants are fuel for further processes. Ecologies of organisms ensure that what might be toxic for one species is sequestered by another, ensuring the quality of air, soil and water. How can designers and architects employ natural processes to create the material fabric of tomorrow’s world? How can designers and architects harness natural processes to improve the quality of the environments we design? How can designers and architects embrace the variability of the natural world to enrich our surroundings?
This project takes a multidisciplinary approach that draws inspiration, technology and knowledge from biological science, algorithmic design and digital fabrication. Through building and making, participants collaborate with biologists, engineers, designers and architects to probe, experiment with, and test bio-materials and explore their fabrication potential and performance qualities.
Canhui Chen_ is a lecturer in Architectural Design at Swinburne University of Technology
John Sadar_ is the course director of architecture at the Swinburne University of Technology
Linus Tan_ is a researcher and PhD candidate at the Swinburne University of Technology
Image: Mycelium prototype prepared by IAAC GSS participants