Fungal Design and Cheating Organisms

Biotalk 04 - with Phil Ross, Toby Kiers and Zeger Reyers

18 Sep 2014

How to use nature's own growing mechanisms in art, design and architecture? Keynote speakers Toby Kiers, Zeger Reyers and Phil Ross (US), will give an inspiring talks about the use of living organisms in their practice. Learn all about mycotecture, micro-systems and living materials at Biotalk.

After the first talk, there is a chance to order some delicious snacks. Later that evening, at 20:30 you are invited to stay over for the official opening Kunstformen Der Natur.

Get your ticket now and click the 'buy a ticket' button in the top left corner.

Phil Ross

Phil Ross lives and works in the United States, developed his fascination for mushrooms 25 years ago when he learned about the healing properties of the Reishi mushroom. But there is more than consuming. Phil combined his extensive research in mushrooms with his art practice. For him The question is not, 'What can fungus do?' It is; What do you want it to do?. With the mushroom mycelium he started creating furniture and architectural constructions, so-called Mycotecture.


Phil Ross showing myco bricks - These fungal bricks can fill almost any space that can be defined within a three inch cube resolution. The bricks grow together after being in contact for a short period of time, and a monolithic object can be grown from smaller units.

With: Phil Ross

Toby Kiers

How do micro-organisms exchange resources with the environment? What happens underground as huge complex networks of fungi trade nutrients with plant roots? According to Toby Kiers, these microbial underground markets function very similarly to our own economic system. There is giving and taking, hoarding, cheating, supply and demand. We can use economic theory to study the microbial world. Or is it the microbial world that can teach us about economics?


Zeger Reyers showing 'Paviljoen' - The work 'Paviljoen' by Zeger Reyers is both a response to the Braem Pavilion and its architect aesthetics, and a confrontation with biomorf architecture.

With: Zeger Reyers

Zeger Reyers

Zeger Reyers is a Dutch artist using all sorts of living materials. Showing typical processes in different biotopes Zeger makes objects that are shaped by living materials, such as furniture and machines that are overgrown by mushrooms or chairs he sunk in the Oosterschelde to get them covered by mussels. Reyer's artworks provokes a new way of seeing these natural processes, by juxtaposing the human controllable versus natures uncontrollable.


Toby Kiers at Biotalk -

With: Toby Kiers

Why we work with fungi

Fungi are organisms that have an enormous cultural potential that we are only just starting to discover. Some people even claim that they will save the world. For Mediamatic fungi are a source of new materials that can replace many synthetics in the 21st century. They play an important role in our food systems al well as having great symbolical value. That why we like to work with them on many levels.


How will designing with organisms change our perspective on art, design, food and beer? Find out at Bio-me. 3 Days of workshops, talks, tastings, Fermentology! and the expo Kunstformen Der Natur. This workshop by Phil Ross is part of the Bio-me program. For further information on the complete program, visit


Thursday 18th, 17:30 - 20:30
Mediamatic Fabriek, VOC-kade 10 (next to Roest) on the ground floor.
Price: €3,50 plus a valid Mediamatic membership (€5,- for 9 weeks). Get your ticket and membership now and click the 'buy your ticket' button underneath the title of this article.

In between the talks of Toby Kiers and Zeger Reyers we serve home-made Pumpkin Soup.