Mushrooms are disgusting, but growing a lamp out of fungi is both weird and cool. That’s the idea behind New York-based biomaterials company Ecovative design, which sells mushroom and hemp-growing kits that turn into lamp shades, bowls, planters, and even packaging.
In a dream crossover of sustainability and design, mushrooms have been used to grow everything from dresses to houses and furniture as an ecological alternative to synthetic materials. “The overall goal of this lamp is to challenge our ideas of what interior products should be made from, how they’re made and ultimately where they will end up,” says its Brooklyn-based designer, Danielle Trofe. “We want to disrupt not only the way in which we manufacture goods, but how as a consumer, you can be empowered to be a part of the growing process creating a greater understanding and connection to your objects.”
Mycelium is the root structure of mushrooms. Its interweaving fibers, or threads, can bond materials like wood together, effectively acting as “nature’s glue.” The lamp shades and Ecovative’s other kits contain a mixture of corn stalk and hemp bound together by the mycelium.
A lamp can be grown and molded in about eight days. It is then baked in the oven to preserve its shape, which also stops spores and other nasty things from growing. The result is a kind of furry-white, mushroomy, lightweight lamp that fits into any organic aesthetic. The company says its mushroom materials degrade in about a month when broken into small pieces and left outside.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.