Fungal mycelium as a biomimicry proposition to an advanced recycled building material

john gao

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Bicelium Timber Factory

The modern urbanisation of cities and towns is the dynamic evidence fostering a new direction of movement towards adapting to current human needs. This has resulted in urban planning focusing on futuristic developments and architecture to compete with its finest technology and materials. 

We are constantly attempting to achieve a mutual equilibrium between human, nature and technology.  However, due to restrictions and demands we tend to blind ourselves to an unbreakable relationship between human and technology, thus devastating and unbalancing the welfare of nature.

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Focusing on the investigation of mycelium (fungus root) and extracting their growth behaviours and adaptability, this thesis will examine the potential use of mycelium as a new source of bio-material in replacement of existing building material. Through lab experiments and fungal growth studies, two main results can be achieved:

  1. The study and experimentation of the extent of mycelium as physical structure material; and
  2. The use of mycelium as a new building material, with digital simulations derived through mimicking the behaviours, and the range of possible architectural design.

With the wide range of possibilities integrating mycelium with architecture, this thesis seeks to focus on the promotion of mushroom agriculture, not only for consumption, but also to investigate a recycle system that allows demolished building materials to be reused. Modern technology such as 3D printers can achieve new approaches to constructing parametric buildings. These mimic the mycelium behaviours, and thus fulfil the balance between nature, technology and human in examining biomimicry architecture.