Woven mycelium

Woven mycelium

Fundamental changes happening in the natural environment nowadays cause humanity to rethink its ways of operation. In the field of construction materials, this change would mean the transition towards more ecological and resilient building materials. Mycelium is a vegetative root structure of fungi, which grows on organic substances. This means that Mycelium is an ideal binder for agricultural wastes such as hemp, straw, or wheat bran, to name a few. Mycelium-based composite has been attracting interest in various sectors due to its highly circular and resilient characteristics. In addition, the composite shows insulative capacity both thermally and acoustically, as well as water and fire resistance.

WOVEN MYCELIUM project aims to improve the mechanical resistance of the composite by implementing a traditional structural system of the century: RC structure. Instead of steel bars, rattan cores were chosen to reinforce our system. Traditionally used in woven furniture, rattan is not only organic but also flexible and ductile.  Mycelium can successfully bind itself with the woven structure during its growth, resulting in a significant improvement of its mechanical behavior, in particular, its compressive strength. 

WOVEN MYCELIUM column of 3.5m height showcases the optimal performance of rattan+mycelium material system developed as a part of MAT.RES installation in the Italian Pavilion at 17th International Architecture Exhibition – Biennale Architettura 2021.

Designer and producer: Aimi Berton, Fatima Abenova, Valeria Marsaglia (PoliMI, ABC Dep., Material Balance Research)

Source: Natural organism and raw material (Mycelium, Rattan, Hemp)

Performance: Acoustic and thermal insulation with mechanical reinforcement