Fungutopia

Laura Popplow

Abstract


The Project FUNGUTOPIA is a design | research in process. It explores the living material of fungal mycelium to grow designs, in a way that is situated in a participatory community process. It is inspired by the concept of the three ecologies by Félix Guattari, what means that it tries to combine actions that address a mental, social and natural idea of ecology.
The project is experimenting with modes of working with living, growing materials and the aesthetics they create. It tries to establish a practical understanding how design can change when we think in lifecycles of creation, use and decay. It explores the potential of “design in process”: The hypothesis is, that the properties of the growing, transient material of fungal mycelium could serve as role-model for a design in process, as a permeable design term, in which the material as well as the user are taken serious as agencies.
FUNGUTOPIA is the design of a social and ecological utopia based on urban mushroom cultivation. As a community-experiment it educates and involves people in the cultivation of mushrooms and on different stages of the fungaldesign-process. Communicating the many possible applications of fungis to solve man-made, urban problems, FUNGUTOPIA works with the idea of an utopia as a motor for real change.

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