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SUSTAINABLE MUSHROOM LAMPS ARE ACTUALLY GROWN INTO THEIR FUNNEL SHAPES, INSTEAD OF BEING MASS PRODUCED

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With its oddly rustic design aesthetic, Sebastian Cox’s Mycelium pendant sustainable mushroom lamps aren’t made. They’re grown.

Mycelium, or the vegetative part of a mushroom, has itself in the limelight for being a cheap, sustainable. And vegan alternative to suede and leather. If treating correctly, it looks and feels just like leather. Offering a cruelty-free and biodegradable alternative that doesn’t have as much of a carbon footprint either. Teaming up with researcher Ninela Ivanova. British designer Sebastian Cox’s “Mycelium + Timber” examines the viability of mycelium as a potential material in commercial furniture design. The mycelium fibers are bound to scrap strips of willow wood. Which provides the base and fodder for the fungus to grow. The result is the absolute antithesis of mass production. Designing in part by nature, each lamp is unique, has its own aesthetic. And is beautiful in its imperfections.

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The sustainable mushroom lamps take anywhere between 4-12 weeks to ‘grow’. The scrap willow wood is first sources from Cox’s own woodland. And cut into fine strips before being woven into shape and placing inside a mold. The mold is then filling with a fungus fomes fomentarius. Which was cultivating using more scrap strips of wood. Inside the mold, the mycelium and wood fuse together, creating a unique type of composite material. “In our workshop, we don’t use composite wood materials. Because I’ve never been quite satisfy with the binding agent holding the wood together,” Cox in an interview with Dezeen.

“As a result, I’ve always had a kind of fantasy interest in ‘reinventing’ a type of MDF and finding new ways to bind wood fibers into either sheets or mounded forms, ideally without glue.” The resulting sustainable mushroom lamps are removing from the mold when it’s fully grown. And is supplying with 2.5m of oatmeal round fabric braiding cable. The entire Mycelium lamp is sustainably producing and entirely compostable.

“It’s not just about the fungus, it’s about the marriage of the two materials,” adds Ninela Ivanova, a researcher who collaborating with Cox over this project. “These two materials have a natural relationship in the woodland. So let’s see how we can exploit that.” The duo plan to continue their collaboration and are working on releasing a full collection of mycelium and wood composite products in the near future. This sustainable mashroom lamps are such an attractive design.

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