Micro-organisms and ceramics are coming together.
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In the beginning of 2018 I am invited by the EKWC to take part in a 3 month residency, where I will investigate the combination of ceramics and micro-organisms.

The goal is, amongst other things, to see if I can develop a new bio-material with shared charachteristics.

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Read the full transcript of my proposal underneath.


Proposal Myco-Paste @ EKWC


For the past 2,5 years, as part of Studio Broed, I have been investigating the potential of mycelium as a material for making and shaping. Mycelium is the fungal filamentous network of a mushroom that normally grows underground and feeds on cellulose materials like wood chips an dead leaves. The material c.q. living organism holds tremendous potential within the design field and is said to be the ‘plastic of the future’. 


Over the course of these years we have been supported by Officina Corpuscoli, Mediamatic and the microbiology department of the Utrecht University, who were kind enough to open up their lab to us. We did a lot of material research, built our own mobile laboratory and did fieldwork in both the Netherlands and France.One of our field trips lead us to a pottery in France, where we did the fist experiments with both mycelium ánd clay. It is precisely this line of research that I would like to develop further at the EKWC.


When I look mycelium v.s. clay and the laboratory worker v.s. the ceramist, I see many similarities. Both mycelium and clay, shrink, need to be baked and are shapable by hand. And even the studio space and instruments show resemblances. (logbooks, ovens, work coat, drying chamber). My goal is to find the common ground in both practices and take a ceramist approach while working with living matter.




During the working period at the EKWC I would like to conduct my experimentations alongside the following three lines of research.


Mycelial / Clay - Hybrids

Closing the gap between mycelium and clay


Is it possible to alter the mycelium in such a way that it gains clay like properties? Or is it possible to find a way to combine (knead) the clay and mycelium together in order to develop a totally new material with combined characteristics?


Mycelium + Clay - Additions

Complimenting clay with mycelium in order to enhance their design potential


Even thought mycelium and clay seem to have some similar characteristics there are also many differences between the two. Whilst ceramics are cold, stiff, non edible, heavy and heat conducting, mycelium is 100 % bio-degradable, ‘soft’, insulating, floating and fire-retardant. What kind of design solutions can be found when you combine these two materialswithin one object?


Ceramist / Laboratory Worker - Crossovers

Taking the techniques from the ceramist to the laboratory


What can de mycelium designer learn from ceramist in terms of 3D shaping, casting, baking, drying, glazing and painting? And vice versa? Are the working methods interchangeable or do we need to establish a new sort of practice?