You can eat them. You can get high on them. You can make them into a cool collection of home objects. Is there nothing fungi can’t do? It’s becoming obvious that mushrooms and their roots, the mycelium networks beneath our feet, will play a substantial part in a more sustainable and eco-friendly FUTUREVVORLD.
We’ve seen plenty of mycelium-based leathers making their way into the fashion world recently. Now, we have a more holistic approach to mycelium from the circular design studio, Space Available. The collection, entitled SA02 RADICAL FUNGI, features mycelium-made home objects and apparel made from upcycled materials.
Inspired by the work of popular biologists and mycelium writers like Paul Stamets, Merlin Sheldrake and Michael Pollan, the collection is being dubbed as a research project that explores the possibilities of fungi through the collaborative work of a community of artists, designers, scientists and environmentalists.
Working with MycoTech, an Indonesia-based materials lab that explores the possibilities of mycelium, Space Available has created an array of home objects that are 100 percent biobased and biodegradable. The mycelium used is lab-grown, reducing its impact on external and neighboring environments.
The wares include desk objects in the shape of peace signs, wobbly incense holders, bulbous trays, and artworks in the shape of totems. The items are produced in limited orders, in their natural mycelium color. No two pieces are identical; each is “grown-to-order” in a more organic and less unformed way.
Complementing the home objects is a capsule of apparel made from “upcycled and organic materials, coloured using natural dyes and are printed with messages that promote circular living, the potential of waste, the importance of nature and more.”
Made in small batches, the T-shirts are made from offcuts sourced from garment factories in Indonesia. The construction of these tees results in a center seam that runs down the front and back; a scar signifying its previous life. Available in black and white, the tees are printed with technical graphics and texts on mycelium research. Each comes with a recycled plastic swing tag which can be reused as a coaster or desk object.
Alongside the T-shirts are short sleeve shirts adorned with trippy, drippy visuals of mushrooms. These are made from 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers which are produced by environmentally responsible processes from sustainably sourced wood.
Through this research project, Space Available is convinced that the “conscious use of biomaterials, such as fungi, may just be the ultimate remedy for the damaging effects of consumerism, over-consumption and our overall disconnection from the natural world.”
Space Available founder Daniel Mitchell says: “Our mission is to make space for nature. We’ve been doing that by radically recycling the plastic waste we humans leave in nature and now we’re exploring biomaterials, which we believe is very much the future. So, we’re working with nature, in the lab, to create a series of objects which will biodegrade back into Mother Earth and help us on our mission.”
The research project won’t stop with this collection. Space Available plans to show its findings in various formats including exhibition and experiential pop-ups around the world in the form of SA mushroom labs.
In the meantime, check out the collection on the Space Available website.