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Symbiocene: how humans and fungi can forge a symbiotic future together

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

The next era in human history is the Symbiocene, coined by eco-philosopher Glenn Albrecht, in which humans and nature not just exist in harmony, but actively collaborate to build a better world.

London based, PLP Labs believe architects and urban designers have a definitive role in designing the infrastructure and day to day experience of the Symbiocene. However, this future is not imminent and requires active creation. Therefore, they are working (i.e. growing) towards this future by exploring the building properties of mycelium.

Currently, the dialogue between the natural and built environment is in its infancy. PLP Labs has added to this conversation by conducting a year-long experiment to understand the growing and sculpting capabilities of mycelium. Labs has explored growing mycelium in different shapes with recycled material and 3D printed filament.

During this experiment, they engineered an innovative way to fuse mycelium with 3D printed wood shells. This technique allows mycelium to conform to an infinite number of configurations with staggering control over design. By using the 3D printed wood, the product remains completely bio-based and bio-degradable.

Using this engineering, PLP Labs debuted a mycelium installation during London’s Clerkenwell Design Week in May 2023. For the installation we grew 84 building blocks comprised of mycelium and 3D printed wood for a modular outdoor partition, stool, table, and planter. The installation was a public spectacle and a Symbiocene demonstrator that encouraged the public to envision how humans and fungi can forge a symbiotic future together.

Check them out:

⌭ @plplabs







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