Bioart project about food waste and the industrial food system, using mycelium furniture.

Student project, “Putting it All on the Table” Art Exhibition

Team: Advisors:  Oliver Medvedik from Genspace, Kevin O’Callaghan and 3D Design Workshop team at SVA

Role: Bioart, art direction, project management

Year: October 2013 – January 2014

A third of the food produced in the world today goes to waste. There are several causes, one of which is the culling of perfectly edible and nutritious food in order to meet high industry and consumer standards of size, color, weight and blemish level. According to a recent report, up to 40% of fruit and vegetable crops in Britain don’t make it to store shelves because they are deemed too ‘ugly’.

A Fine Line is a dining set –  half of it has been mass produced, finely cut and given a sleek finish. The other half grew organically from a mix of mushroom mycelium and wood waste, the texture and color of the resulting structure being nature’s design.

For this project I combined learning bioart at SVA’s Nature and Technologies Lab with making a commissioned sculpture about the food system for an exhibition organized for my class at the SVA gallery.

It was a fascinating few months full of unexpected consequences, scientific discoveries, making, hacking, growing and collaborating. The project received great interest at the exhibition and was featured in the blog Female and Fungi. The project is also set to be included in a book about mycelium art authored by mycologist Dr. Dan Tura.