Hello fungal fellas! Mycomaterial Experience


#1

Hello everyone!

My name is Siemon and I’m in my last year studying Product Development in Antwerp.
Being raised in the countryside as a farmer’s son, I’ve always loved nature and the animals around us.
My later fascination with the engineered world brought me to the new field of Biodesign today!

As a master thesis project I chose to dig in the wonderful mycoworld and have a look at the sate of the art regarded problem solving applications. I wondered where I could find opportunities to innovate and create new added value through research and design.

So I started from a very open research question “How can mycelium materials and products be designed at technical and experiential level to optimize their application and acceptance in society?”

For a handful of months now I’ve been gaining knowledge by strolling on the world wide web and participating in workshops and trainings by Glimps. Which I am enormously grateful for! Special thanks already to Winnie, Elise, Caroline, Kasper,…!

An important part of my project will focus on the User Experience and Consumer Acceptance side of the story. Cause “How people receive these materials is not known yet”. I found a few relevant research techniques which will be applicable. For example ‘AttrakDiff’, ‘UEQ’ and maybe ‘PrEmo’. But the main goal may be to design our own method for evaluating growing biomaterials experiences.

I want to test and verify samples from all kinds with people. (Maybe also during the biofabrication bootcamp). Very basic shapes with different properties and some which are maybe post-processed and treated. Like coloring and adding resins.
I wonder which other possibilities would all be interesting to look at?

Based on the results future design requirements can be listed and new concepts can be generated.
These (maybe very abstract) concepts could then again be prototyped and technical and experimentally verified.

It would be great to get some thoughts from you folks!
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.

Siemon


#2

That’s a nice topic to look into for your thesis!

Just some things I thought of when reading your post that might help you:

I think the experience and acceptance of biomaterials texture and color are also culturally and contextually influenced.

Have a look at ‘wabi-sabi’ and how this Oriental philosophy/aesthetics is currently seeping in Western society & why we are now adopting imperfections in our interiors, products,… after a decade of “white glossy perfect stuff.”

But where & when, in which contexts, are the imperfections associated with mycomaterials desired and when should they be avoided? Seeing the material in a hospital setting will invoke different experiencrs than when you encounter them in a coffee bar interior.

Also have a look at Colorpassport and how they studied perception & meaning of color around the world to create a color decision tool. Maybe your end result can function similarly?


#3

Thanks a lot Tom!

Wabi Sabi was indeed already something I discovered earlier and I get you on the importance of context.

The material/sample/object shapes + the story around it will influence thoughts and feelings so the research certainly has to be done in different steps and setups. There is differences between user consumption products that require tangible interaction or just construction/interior elements etc… .

A good inspiration is the materials experience study at TU Delft from Karana. They used their MDD (material driven design) method for mycelium-based materials. But there is definitely more to do and discover.


#4

I think the research of Francesca Ostuzzi could be interesting for you. Not sure what her screen name is on the forum, but here is her website: http://open-ended-design.com/