Also following up on this trend is the architectural scene, with this time, a sculpture constructed from a biomaterial blend of corn and mushroom fibre to tower above NYC’s MoMa.
New York studio The Living has won this year's MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program competition with plans to cultivate bio-bricks from corn stalks and mushrooms, and use them to build a tower in the courtyard of the New York City museum.
For centuries, mushrooms have been used as food and medicine in different cultures. More recently, biologists found many bioactive compounds in mushrooms that can not only produce clean energy, but also, how building with fungi-based material helps to reduce the often difficult to recycle toxic and hazardous byproducts of today's construction industry.
The building is the first sizable structure in NYC to claim near-zero carbon emissions in its construction process and, beyond recycling, presents itself as being 100% compostable,’ says Pedro Gadanho, curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.
Here's MoMA's press release:
Using biological technologies combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering to create new building materials, The Living will use a new method of bio-design, resulting in a structure that is 100% organic material. The structure temporarily diverts the natural carbon cycle to produce a building that grows out of nothing but earth and returns to nothing but earth - with almost no waste, no energy needs, and no carbon emissions. This approach offers a new vision for society's approach to physical objects and the built environment. It also offers a new definition of local materials, and a direct relationship to New York State agriculture and innovation culture, New York City artists and non-profits, and community gardens.
With the world population increasing at an incredible rate, biologically-centered construction technologies like fungi-based architectural components hold the potential for smart self-sufficiency.
Easy-to-obtain renewable building materials may well be a way to provide underserved and remote populations with affordable housing, but even more noteworthy are the possibilities for greening dense urban areas with organic bio-construction such as the Hy-Fi.