BA Design Degree Show 2021: Colombia Everett, “Mycelium Is Growing In My Living”

This year’s graduating Design students will present their outcomes starting June 28th, under the title “My Friend, Oh! It’s Been So Long.” Until then, the blog gives you a peek at the work that will be showcased.

Colombia Everett’s graduation work is “a material first approach to design, in the field of material design.

My Design project aims to reconstruct our relationship to goods and the design process by looking at the start and end point of the design, materials and waste disposal.

This year has seen me deep dive into the world of material design, using agricultural waste and in particular Oyster Mushroom Substrate to develop biodegradable material. Oyster Mushroom Substrate is the no longer commercially viable growing blocks used to develop Oyster mushroom mycelium, wheat composite.

I aim to work closely with farmers and open source the material to allow biomaterials to be approachable and attainable, enabling people to grow their own goods in their home.

All my experimentation and development has taken place in my makeshift living room laboratory, where I have slowly and incrementally experimented and altered the method to get me to this current one. I had no prior material design or science based background, learning everything through practical application and experimentation.

Mycelium externally digests the wheat, creating a thick mat structure that forms a strong composite which can be moulded into almost any shape and will dry to form a strong structure, that is in-between chipboard and MDF.

The material is still in the development process, a basic method has been developed, now I seek to explore methods of application and ways to build larger structures. A display wall was created to show the evolution of the material development and to engage a wider community to start growing and learning about biomaterials, open sourcing my material method.

I will be continuing to explore material design in an MA in Design through New Materials at Elisava, where I will seek to expand my repertoire in material design, through the use of different materials and approaches to developing.”