Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Tom Weis

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Bissonnette

Third Advisor

Andreas Mershin


As the world grapples with the escalating crisis of climate threats and environmental degradation, this research delves into the synergistic potential of design and biology, developing safe and sustainable materials for applications in prototyping, furniture and interior design. Harnessing the power of a unique organism - fungi, the study proposes an accessible, efficient, and resilient material resource system. It utilizes local waste streams and mycelium (the vegetative part of fungi) to grow functional structures. An experimental and small-scale protocol is modeled by testing bio-fabrication and bio-printing methods. The composites' performance qualities and characteristics are evaluated through mechanical testing and a survey of experiential attributes. A series of workshops introduced participants to the creative possibilities of integrating myco-materials into their practice, leading to insights and possibilities in new processes and products. To foster a deeper understanding of sustainability, the carbon footprint and ecological impact of these materials are examined. Envisioning a paradigm shift in industrial ecology, the proposed ideas reduce dependence on non-biodegradable, toxic, and harmful materials. With the principles of biology and design, this work hopes to transcend the trajectory of conventional materials - particularly plastics, and move toward a regenerative future.



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