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Mushroom Based Material Grow Machine by Ashley Scarborough

Ready to grow your own mycelium biomaterial? British designer Ashley Scarborough is working toward a more symbiotic relationship between humans and nature through a sustainable invention named “The Grow Machine”.

During her residency at Autodesk Pier in 2017, Scarborough created The Grow Machine in the attempt to help “amateur” scientists and creative thinkers to make their own mycelium biomaterials.

Mycelium, defined as the vegetative part of the mushroom. is one of the most powerful biomaterials in the world. Along with its versatile structural abilities, mycelium is fire retardant, water resistant, and lightweight. Its ideal environment for growth is a dark and wet place, which The Grow Machine is able to mimic.

In addition, The Grow Machine maintains a clean environment for the mycelium to grow, as well as laminar flow, temperature, and light controlled settings to yield the best result.

The process begins with packing substrate into a mold and then injecting it with mycelium spawn. The machine is set to the most optimal growing conditions, including a temperature of 27 degrees celsius and humidity set to about 97%. After a few days, the mycelium will form a thick, white layer and is placed in an oven to stop the growing process.

Scarborough’s vision for this machine was to help humans appreciate our natural resources. Through individualized bio interactions given to creative thinkers, the products go beyond material gratification, as the personal connection made with working with such a sensitive material is even more rewarding.

Get in touch with her if you're interested in developing this project further.

Check them out:

⌭ @ashleyscarborough








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