Creating New Meanings to Everyday Items
Diaz Adisastomo (ID) x Adam Davies (UK)
The simple items we use in our everyday life can contribute to environmental degradation. Therefore, Diaz Adisastomo and Adam Davies created Soft Edges, a range of wooden furniture with sharp corners covered with bumpers made of mycelium.
In modern interior design, the furniture we choose for our homes is more than just a collection of useful objects. It’s an expression of our values, ideals, and personality – and sustainability is something that we need to increasingly look to reflect in our interior style.
Adding sustainable alternatives to our everyday lifestyle has benefits. Not only can you control the amount of waste you produce, but sustainable alternatives last longer, save us money in the long run and provide us with more effective use.
Diaz Adisastomo and Adam Davies came up with Soft Edges, a series of wooden furniture with sharp corners covered with bumpers made of mycelium. Mycelium naturally latches onto different substances to help mushrooms grow and form colonies. Its flexibility could be manipulated into many different textures and shapes.
The mycelium bumper comes in much more organic and irregular forms that become part of the table that somehow starts with a small group of the organism and becomes something much bigger, making it into a functional element.
Both wood and mycelium are biodegradable. They are available all over the world with their specific uniqueness. In a further application, this combination of material can be done locally in many parts of the world, which can be produced in many exciting iterations.
Along the way, Diaz and Adam figured out what were the constraints that would come from trying to combine these two different materials. Technically, mycelium can be directly moulded onto the surface of the table, which puts a more dramatic effect on the table. But practically, mycelium needs to be baked to certain degrees in order to prevent additional growth, and moreover, it takes unfinished wood for the mycelium to grow while affecting the functionality of the table.
At this point, it is more likely to produce the mycelium separately that later can be attached to the table with a certain connector which becomes more convenient or practical. There is also the more conceptual side: the product shows how we can find the opportunity to use biomaterial, not only as a replacement for what came before. It represents the ability to create new meanings to household items.
All photos are courtesy of Altermatter Participants.