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Digital Futures Workshop 2021

LIFORM: Living Megastructures

Workshop Leaders: Katya Bryskina & Nataly Nemkova

Full workshop on our YouTube Chanel

The workshop will explore how to co-design with nature and learn from physical experiments with mycelium and translate it into computational logic and design application. Using biomimetics principles, we know from biological processes and find applications in architectural and urban studies.

Mycelium is the root-like fibrous material of fungus, mainly composed of chitin. It acts as a bonding agent that penetrates a substrate and closes gaps with new patterns. Growing mycelium in the air on pre-weaved structures instead of moulds produces new morphologies and inspiration for computational investigation. When mycelium overtakes the environment and bridges the elements, it builds as many connections as possible in a short period. Then it thickens the most important ones over time. As a result, it creates a multilayer structure with variable thickness.

The workshop expertise covers different scales, from urban landscapes to digital fabrication. We will explore a part of the city to create a new urban layer, a dynamic structure that evolves through time. We are going to simulate mycelium growth using Grasshopper. As a part of the design application, we will experiment with ‘updating’ an urban patch by creating a set of multilayer connections inside it and using structural and urban analysis to improve the design.

After the first stage of preliminary design, the group will be divided into two subgroups to explore more detailed different aspects. One group will look into the structure and digital fabrication, while the other will work more on the urban scale and spread the new layer in the city space.


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