Mycelium is a vegetative fungus that has recently been exposed to the industrial design world as a bio-mimetic solution to replace Styrofoam in building and packaging. The largest organism in the world, Mycelium is the white threadlike matrix that is essential in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to deliver and store nutrients and water throughout the forest floor. Mycelium performs as a biological filter, and is essential to the decomposition of organic material in nature, metabolizing and creating fresh nutrients for the growth of new plant matter.

MyChair is grown from Mycelium, a material that grows to exact shapes behooving a sculpture with a hot-knife, yet functions as a mossy nurse-log in the forest. MyChair is a new landscape, engineered by nature and formed by designers to be both a biological and technogical nutrient. It embodies a new evolution of humankind’s relationship with the organic.  These verdant structures can be donated and distributed throughout the metropolitan area.

Mycelium provides an ideal material for adjustable seating for it is lightweight and provides easy maneuverability for any visitor. Mycelium is a network of fine white filaments found within mushrooms that provides a 100% bio-degradable material. To translate these filaments into a working object we collect post-industrial wood scraps which we use as foodstock for the mycelium. Inside our MyChair molds, we allow the mycelium to grow and fill the space which typically takes 5 days. Once the chair has taken shape, it is coated with hemp and rubber to provide a functional and lightweight seating option.

Each Spring a fresh batch of MyChairs are grown in re-usable formwork to inexpensively replace the last crop.  There’s new life in last year’s batch however.  Water during the winter and early spring has reached seeds implanted within the mycellium.  Sprouts erupt out of Mychair as if out of a chair shaped earthen bed.  Chairs of moss, ferns, wildflowers, weeds, and mushrooms become a visual reminder of the natural cycles of life.

Program: Inexpensive, Bio-compostable Chair
Status: Concept Development 2011-2012
Project Architect: Thomas Kosbau
Design Team: Sergio Saucedo, Joseph Hines