Emily Judson

Architectural Designer, Grimshaw Architects

Mycelium Mushrooms

Semester Program: Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE)
Professor: Josh Draper
Site: CASE, Downtown Manhattan
Team: Dillon Webster, Elizabeth Sammartino, Graham Billings
Spring 2015, RPI

This project was an experiment in using natural materials for building construction. We used Mycelium mushrooms, mixed with a bonding agent, to create fin louvers for our full-scale kineticoco mock up. We were testing the manufacturing process and structural ability of mycelium as part of a larger project to look at natural materials like coconut shells.

In order to fabricate these fins, we first created 3D printed nested end caps that would fasten the mycelium fin to the larger louver system. These were then pressed into the mycelium using a wood mold and pressing jig that we made. The pressing was necessary for the mycelium to be cemented into shape with bonding agent, as well as to embed the end cap. The fins were then connected to the mechanical louver system and attached to the full-scale Kineticoco mock up.

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