These chairs were grown with 12 separate molds over the course of two weeks
Google "mycotecture" and Phil Ross is the first hit you'll see. For good reason, too. His work features a combination of fungi grown over a number of weeks, burgeoning to become colorful statement pieces of edible furniture and art. That's not even the kicker—not only are they edible, they're biodegradable, flame-retardant and practically bulletproof.
Ross' intrigue with mycotecture isn't just an experiment in food design. His inspiration stems from a lifelong interest in biology and its connection to all aspects of his work history and personal interests. In his words:
While I was terrible in high-school science and math, my education about the life sciences emerged from a wide engagement with materials and practices. Through my work as a chef I began to understand biochemistry and laboratory methods; as a hospice caregiver I worked with life support technologies and environmental controls; and through my interest in wild mushrooms I learned about taxonomies, forest ecology and husbandry.
Ross' work is currently a part of the "Intimate Science" exhibition at Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, which features designers working at the intersection of art, science and technology. (We were told the world's first commercially available, genetically modified flower will also be making an appearance.) You can catch Ross' designs on display through April 15th or stop by for his artist talk on April 8th.
For more information on the exhibit and the other featured designers, visit the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center's website.