In 2005, in his book Mycelium Running, American mycologist Paul Stamets predicted that mushrooms would help save the world. Twelve years later, several scientists and innovative entrepreneurs are using mushrooms to run their researches, businesses and dreams. Until Sunday February 12, you can learn more about the role of fungal micro-organisms at Fungal Futures exhibition in Enschede, The Netherlands. Even Stamets would be astonished by what a group of artists and designers can make nowadays with mushrooms.
Since 1979 we have been using satellites to measure Arctic sea ice levels, which have been warning us about the alarming decrease of ice growth. Climate models predict that by 2040, the Arctic Bay will continue to freeze in winter, but could be free of ice in summer. Now imagine an ice hotel in this scenario that melts away every year.
If you are fond of water sports or simply enjoy a walk along a coast, you probably heard of them before: cyanobacteria. These are toxic blue-green algae that thrive allover the world due to global warming and water contamination. When the algae are blooming they deplete oxygen level in water so that other species like manta ray are endangered. Moreover, toxic domoic acid, an element of cyanobacteria, gets into the food chain causing devastating domino effect. Inventor Rob Falken came up with an idea how to solve the problem: harvest and reuse them. For the next pair of your sneakers, for example.
Henk Jonkers, a microbiologist at the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, has developed a way to make the cracks in concrete structures heal themselves. This is accomplished by embedding the concrete with limestone producing bacteria – the Bacilus Pseudofirmus or the Sporosacina Pasteurii.
Clothing made of human hair. Alix Bizet, French student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, collected hair from African American hairdressers to create jackets and hats for her project Hair Matter(s). Why? Because she sees it as a sustainable solution, an animal-friendly alternative to fur and an entrancement of our cultural an ethnic differences.
We don’t know if fashionistas are willing to wear her striking outfits, what we certainly know is that our peculiar image of the week makes us shiver with Anthropomorphobia.
Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Spain have created a prototype called Hydroceramic: a composite material able to lower the temperature of an interior space by five degrees Celsius. Inspired by the sweating human skin, the team sees the modern architecture as an organism, exploring new design possibilities from both material and behavioural perspectives.
People involved into plastic matters predict that in the next thirty years the consumption of this particular and malleable material will go from the current 300-400 million tons to the double amount, at least. Plastic, or rather plastics were born from petroleum-derived polymers and had immediate success thanks to their mechanical and chemical properties and the low purchase cost.
Eco-friendly fashion is in vogue, evidenced by terms like “recycled-material” and “sustainable manufacturing” battered around as selling points for everything from sheets to shoes. So, despite how easy it is to hide the source of a material, when designers venture into this brand of lifestyle-fashion the incentive it to reveal, not mask, a product’s recycled roots. Take the new Adidas concept shoe, crafted with recycled materials gathered from the oceans.