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AI generated image of a Mycelium House using Midjourney, by Omid Oliyan
AI generated image of a Mycelium House using Midjourney. Photo: Omid Oliyan.
4/12/23, 6pm - 7:30pm
1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

“The Mycelium House” is a series of design workshops exploring the use of mycelium, the thread-like structures (hyphae) in fungi, as a residential building material in combination with other zero-carbon fibers and substrates to build tiny, tent-like shelters. Participating architects and engineers have also tapped AI technology to help design these plant-based homes of the future. Will the next generation of homebuyers be able to own extreme-green homes built with locally grown, mycelium materials?

During the past two years, the AIANY Custom Residential Architects Network has assembled a team of architects, engineers, (myco)builders, students, and specialized consultants to explore the use of mycelium as a future building material in residential construction. Through structural, computational, and physical material studies in a mock-studio setting, the first set of workshops led to the development of a new form for the material: mycelium sheets. The team’s work, consisting of physical material mockups along with structural analysis and computational designs, was shared with the broader AIANY community through an artificial reality installations at the Center for Architecture in February 2022. In the next phase of the workshops, the team is exploring the use of mycelium sheets to design a zero-carbon tiny home.

At the February 8 workshop, the team introduced their first AI-generated mycelium house, which led to an animated conversation between the research team and participants. In this final workshop, the research team will continue to explore what a mycelium home of the future framed would look like and why it would require AI technologies to bring to the marketplace.

Bill Browning, Hon. AIA, LEED AP, Partner, Terrapin Bright Green
Rebecca Buntrock, PE, LEED AP, Senior Associate, Silman
Jonathan Dessi-Olive, Assistant Professor of Architecture in Building Technology and Design Integration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Nico Kienzl, DDes, LEED Fellow, Director, Atelier Ten
Omid Oliyan, PhD, Computational Designer, OPLUS
Nat Oppenheimer, PE, Senior Vice President, Silman
Dana Cupkova, Founding Director, EPIPHYTE Lab

About the Speakers:
Bill Browning is one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists and an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government, and civil society. His expertise has been sought out by organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 companies, leading universities, non-profit organizations, the US military, and foreign governments.

Rebecca Buntrock joined Silman in 2010 and was promoted to Associate in 2018 and Senior Associate in 2021. As a studio leader, she has managed a variety of projects for all types of building construction and has a special expertise in historic preservation and existing buildings. She was the sixth Robert Silman Fellow for Preservation Engineering at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Buntrock is active in industry organizations and currently serves as the President of the Association for Preservation Technology, Northeast Chapter (APTNE).

Dana Cupkova is an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture and the Director of Epiphyte Lab, an award-winning Architectural Design & Research Collaborative situated at the intersection of ecology and technology. In 2018, Epiphyte Lab was recognized as the ‘Next Progressives‘ design practice by ARCHITECT Magazine. Engaging computationally driven processes, Dana’s design work focuses on shaping environments that bridge the gap between architecture and landscapes, while addressing issues of environmental stewardship, material circularity, and hybrid forms of co-authorship. Dana serves as a Graduate Chair for the Master of Science in Sustainable Design; is a member of the editorial board of The International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC); and is a recipient of the 2019 ACADIA Teaching Award of Excellence, and 2022 ACSA Creative Achievement Award. In 2022-23, she was a US Fulbright Scholar at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Jonathan Dessi-Olive is a researcher, designer, and educator. His work takes a critical approach to technology while integrating the history and theory of architecture, contemporary construction, and computational design. Presently he is an Assistant Professor of Architecture in Building Technology and Building Design Integration at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he teaches architecture studios, seminars, and structural design. Previously he taught at Kansas State University.

Nico Kienzl is a founding director of Atelier Ten’s New York City office with over 20 years of experience in sustainability consulting with expertise on the application of advanced building analysis for façade optimization, daylight and shading analysis, and optimization of building systems. Kienzl has played a significant role in a wide variety of residential, commercial, institutional, cultural, and masterplan projects throughout the US and internationally, influencing the building industry to move towards a more sustainable future. As Director, he has consulted on over 150 high-performance building projects worldwide.

Omid Oliyan is a computational designer and researcher with a background in Structural Engineering and Architectural Technology. His research explores the capacities of digital technologies to inform and enhance the design and delivery process. His experimental design work explores the entangled relationships between materiality, structure, and form through the lens of digital design and digital fabrication. Oliyan is also an educator in design and technology and has taught numerous courses, seminars, and workshops on computational design and design optimization.

Nat Oppenheimer joined the firm in 1988 and has extensive experience in the areas of new construction, renovation, sustainable engineering, and historic preservation as Principal in Charge of much of the firm’s institutional, private residential, and educational work. Since 2013, he has been an active participant of the Industry Advisory Group for the US Department of Statue Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. He is also a member of the Grace Farms Foundation Architecture + Construction Working Group, an interdisciplinary group of A/E leaders who are advocating to end the use of modern slavery in the supply chain and labor for the built environment.

This event is offered virtually; you will receive an email with a Zoom link to access the program. 

Organized by
AIANY Custom Residential Architects Network
AI generated image of a Mycelium House using Midjourney, by Omid Oliyan
AI generated image of a Mycelium House using Midjourney. Photo: Omid Oliyan.
4/12/23, 6pm - 7:30pm
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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