Mycelial Vessel

A living Planter

Pittsburgh, PA
Marantha Dawkins
Fall 2019

In collaboration with Max Stropkay and Yashwitha Reddy

Our initial orientation was against the creation of a static vessel. Baking the mycelium renders it as just another building material, keeping it alive keeps it as a contributing part of the ecosystem. We have created a tri-directional armature for the growth and interation of these actors. The sticks held the mycelium while it grew, and now they act as its food and breading grounds. The mycelium post-growth now holds the structure together, and creates a pocket in which the vine can nest. The vine grows upwards around the sticks, seeking sun and eventually returning as food for the mycelium. We imagine their to be some form of resource exchange between the two, but only time and observation will be able to tell what sort of relationship they have.

Our entire structure is biotic, which means if left for enough time the entire ensemble will be consumed by the slow expansion of the mycelium. In the mean time, the plant is allowed to grow unfettered, housed and hopefully bolstered by the fungus.