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Mushroom Materials: The Latest Architecture and News

Hy-Fi, The Organic Mushroom-Brick Tower Opens At MoMA's PS1 Courtyard

00:00 - 27 June, 2014

Last night, the organic brick structure known as 'Hy-Fi' opened in the courtyard of MoMA's PS1 space in New York. Designed by David Benjamin of New York architects The Living, the tower was designed as part of MoMA's Young Architects Program, and its construction centers around the use of an innovative building material: organic, biodegradable bricks consisting of no more than farm waste and a culture of fungus that is grown to fit a brick-shaped mold.

Acting as the centerpiece for MoMA's Warm Up music festival on Saturdays throughout the Summer, the temporary structure will provide shade, seating and water until September 7th. Read on after the break for more on the design.

Arup Engineers Explain: How the MoMA PS1 YAP Winners Grew Ten Thousand Mushroom Bricks

01:00 - 26 June, 2014

This year's MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program opens tomorrow (you can see the schedule of events here). Find out how the innovative winning design (a tower of fungal bricks), by The Living's David Benjamin, was tested and built with this article, originally posted on as "Engineering a mushroom tower".

Soft, spongy, and delicious on pizza, mushrooms have approximately as much to do with structural engineering as alligators or lawnmowers. Or so we thought, until architect David Benjamin of New York firm The Living walked into our offices with a brick grown from fungi.

This brick was the key to his concept for an entry to MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program competition. Every year, the museum commissions a designer to build a centerpiece for its popular outdoor Warm Up concert series.

If architectural design competitions are where brave, innovative ideas rise to the top, The Living’s mushroom tower (official name: Hy-Fi) checked all the right boxes. In addition to the novelty factor, mushroom bricks offer a host of sustainability benefits. The raw materials needed to produce them — mushrooms and corn stalks (waste material from farms) that the spores feed on — are as eco-friendly as they come. Bricks can be grown in just five days, and the process produces no waste or carbon emissions. When the structure is taken down at the end of the summer, they can be composted and turned into fertilizer.

Reflective Concrete, Wooden Textiles And More: Five Materials You Never Knew Existed

00:00 - 14 June, 2014
Reflective Concrete, Wooden Textiles And More: Five Materials You Never Knew Existed, Wooden Textiles - A Mixture Of Of Materials That Makes Wood Feel Soft. Image Courtesy of Interiors & Sources
Wooden Textiles - A Mixture Of Of Materials That Makes Wood Feel Soft. Image Courtesy of Interiors & Sources

The following post is presented by ArchDaily Materials, our new US product catalog.

Recently, Interiors & Sources featured fourteen of the coolest materials they've come across in their 30-year history; the following post lists the five that most tickled our fancy. Enjoy!

Insulation Grown From Fungi

00:00 - 9 February, 2014
Insulation Grown From Fungi, Courtesy of Ecovative
Courtesy of Ecovative

Inspired by the woods of Vermont, a US biotechnology startup have developed a system for using agricultural byproducts with fungal mycelium (a natural, self-assembling binder) to grow high performance insulation. Ecovative Mushroom® Insulation is seen as a viable competitor to plastic foams that can be found in both in packaging and building insulation, for which the project recently won second place in the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge.

Courtesy of Ecovative Courtesy of Ecovative Courtesy of Ecovative Courtesy of Ecovative + 6