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1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

*This event will be occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program.*

ResArch Lab: Mycelium Architecture – Building with Fungi will explore the technology and methods behind the potential uses of mycelium, the thread-like structures (hyphae) in fungi, as an innovative building material that can be incorporated into custom residential architecture. Over the past several years, mycelium has become recognized as a useful material that could shape a future from which architecture can be grown. A completely biodegradable material with exceptional properties—insulating, fire-resistant, acoustical, structural and lightweight— myco-matter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor architectural applications.

Join architects, engineers, and innovators leading the effort in the bio-fabrication of mycelium as they discuss the challenges of working with this ancient yet revolutionary material in their practices. Topics such as construction methods resulting in monolithic, brick-form, insulation and tile applications, will be discussed along with the life cycle processes and zero waste impact of the material. The case for building with mycelium is that it is fast-growing, low-cost, energy efficient, and a low-waste alternative to known, traditional building materials.

How can designing with mycelium in residential applications benefit the life safety and health of its occupants? What does it take to manufacture myco-products that can be useful to local economies? What are the possibilities of this innovative biomaterial and its capabilities to be scaled to bio-manufacturing for residential construction? Can “mycotecture” transform how architects address sustainability in housing, ultimately creating a new kind of biodegradable home that could be widespread in the near future? 

Introduction by:
Rob Kalin, Founder, Open Mycelia

Nancy Diniz, Co-Founder, Augmented Architectures and bioMATTERS
Frank Melendez, Co-Founder, Augmented Architectures and bioMATTERS
Jonathan Dessi-Olive, Assistant Professor of Architecture in Design and Structures, Kansas State University
Christopher Maurer, NCARB, Founder and Principal Architect, Redhouse Studio
Gavin McIntyre, Co-founder, Ecovative Design

About the speakers:

Rob Kalin founded Etsy in 2005, and is currently exploring a different set of materials to build homes with, working in upstate New York.

Nancy Diniz is a registered architect and educator. She is co-founder of Augmented Architectures and bioMATTERS, based in New York City and London. Parallel to her practice she is the Course Director of the MA in Biodesign at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London. Her research and practice involve working with living systems and computational design, and pertain to topics including biomaterials, bio and digital fabrication, virtual reality, and data visualization.  She is the recipient of several grants and fellowships namely from New York State Council on the Arts/Storefront, MacDowell Colony, EYEBEAM, Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, and The Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal.

Frank Melendez is an architectural designer, educator, and researcher. He is a partner at Augmented Architectures and bioMATTERS, based in New York City and London, and teaches at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York. His practice, teaching, and research focus on the advancement of architectural design through the integration of emerging digital technologies within the built environment.  Frank is the author of Drawing from the Model (Wiley, 2019) and co-author of Data, Matter, Design (Routledge, forthcoming 2020). His work has been supported through grants, fellowships, and memberships including, the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) / Van Alen Institute, the MacDowell Colony, and NEW INC.

Jonathan Dessi-Olive is a researcher, designer and educator working at the intersections of architecture and structure design. Presently he is an Assistant Professor in Department of Architecture at Kansas State University, where he teaches architecture studios and structural design. As a researcher, Dessi-Olive focuses on developing novel design and construction strategies for high-performance, sustainable buildings. His work takes a critical approach to technology while integrating history and theory of architecture, contemporary construction, and computational design. Jonathan’s recent contributions include methodologies for large-scale monolithic mycelium construction, inflatable tensegrity structures, computational design methods for architectural acoustics, and the construction of several thin-shell vault structures in the United States, Europe, and East Africa. 

Christopher Maurer is an architect and founder of Redhouse Studio. He has lived and worked as an architect in North America, Europe, and Africa. Working in limited-resource environments  has inspired Maurer in his practice to reduce material inputs and leverage and building process to make maximum positive impact. In research, he is working with leading researchers at NASA and MIT to develop and promote new “bioterials” which can change the way we build and live. Maurer has also written open source material for the AIA, Elsievier, and the Center for Architecture on sustainable building technologies.

Gavin McIntyre co-founded Ecovative to solve environmental challenges through biology. He oversaw research and development during the company’s early product launches and is a listed inventor on over two dozen of the company’s issued and pending patents. He now serves as the company’s Director of Business Development where he focuses on growing a network of international mycelium-material partnerships from small enterprises to large multinationals and government agencies. McIntyre is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where his dual degree in mechanical engineering and social design led to his passion for building home-spun bioreactors in which he has cultivated organisms from oysters to orchids. He serves on the Board of Directors at Ecovative and the non-profit Clean and Healthy New York, as well as RPI’s Strategic Advisory Counsel. 

Organized by
AIANY Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN)
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