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Mycelium Structures 101; Why? What? How?

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Benay Gursoy (Penn State University/ ForMat Lab)

Benay Gursoy is an assistant professor of architecture and the director of Form and Matter Lab at Penn State University. Her research and teaching focus is on computational making, digital fabrication, craft theory, shape studies, basic design education, and cognitive studies of the design process. She has published and presented her research internationally and received awards in international conferences.

Together with a team of grad and undergrad students and in collaboration with mycologists, they have an on-going research on exploring the structural aspects of mycelium-based composites. Currently they are focused on integrating augmented robotic fabrication techniques that are capable of seeing, sensing and responding to the work environment in real-time to the additive manufacturing of mycelium-based composites. This integration will enable the materialization of more complex geometries that are for instance not restricted with planar build surfaces.

Ali Ghazvnian (Penn State University/ ForMat Lab)

Ali Ghazvnian is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Architecture at Penn State University. He tries to integrate material exploration, computational design, and digital fabrication to enable various forms of using novel materials and technologies. With his background in Civil and Architectural Engineering, his research in format.lab aims to find the proper ways of using bio-based materials as sustainable alternatives for common masonry materials, in the architectural context.

Project Description

We all know about mycelium and its advantages in circular construction. However, we need to start a critical conversation about the solutions and the barriers to using this material in the AEC industry. To do so, we first need to know why we need structural mycelium, what are the different types of these structures, and how we might enhance these structures.

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