THE BIG QUESTION: WHY!?
Peter, some people (well, actually most people!) may be wondering… why grow a chair made of fungus? Can you tell us a little bit about the back story, and is this something The Edge has tried before?
Well at least that is easier to answer than why a duck!
There are a couple of reasons for growing a chair. Firstly, making something functional using fungal mycelium and wood shavings epitomises the sustainability benefits of this technology. Nothing toxic, no expensive equipment or exotic ingredients required; and the end product is inherently biodegradable, so no waste problems. Plus, a chair is something everyone recognises, most everyone owns, and is widely used.
Other groups have made more exotic devices like a biodegradable drone, or simpler things, like bricks, or decorative objects like lampshades. But, making a mundane, useful object in an entirely new way hopefully illustrates the usefulness of biofabrication. It also demonstrates how these techniques can be applied now, in everyday life – growing a chair demonstrates the strength and flexibility of the material.
And, the final reason for choosing to grow a chair is that it has not been done at The Edge before. We like to push the boundaries and this is one way of doing just that.
If you missed the first part of this series, read it here:
Living organisms, a secret room and a chair – Part 1