Earlier in the week we did some tests on how to build with the mycelium.
The workshop was very much a learn-by-doing process.
It was good to see that everyone had their own ideas, tried to vocalise them or draw them out, and just showing what they meant by doing it. This group project really highlighted everyone’s opinion and were all taken into consideration. The results were a melting pot of everyone's hard work and ideas.
In the end we build not one but two towers. One tower was constructed using a brick-laying method; From out of a big pile of mycelium blocks that had grown together nicely, the participants chose a block and used as them to create building blocks for the tower. These blocks were laid next to each other in a circle whereby blocks were laid on top layer by layer. This brought people to really look and consider where each piece would fit best in this construction. Some bricks had pieces crumbling off or even completely crumbled apart, however this was not a bad thing. These pieces were then collected in buckets, soaked in water, and then used as a form of plaster or cement for areas where the bricks were not well-connected.
The second team created a tower by filling rolls of jute with mycelium. The team crumbled pieces off and also collected this in buckets. Then they simply made a knot on one end and filled the jute up with the crumbled mycelium. They assembled the tower by laying these rolls on top of each other like roll of sand.
Unfortunately, when Monday morning came and we went to check on the project, one of the towers had collapsed. This was the mycelium brick tower. We do not entirely know how it fell or why, but this not important. What is important is that it fell apart and it may be due to how we built it or how the way it was left was not durable. To prevent the fallen tower from becoming waste, we used the mycelium to fill more jute and continued to build on the second tower.
One of the biggest learning points that we found during the workshop was that there should be a type of mold in the shape of the tower. This would help with keeping the shape coherent as well as making the tower look better.
We learned a lot of things during and after the workshop that we will reflect on together. So that on the next workshop we can produce even better results.