The future is destined to bring us technology composed of fungus, according to Phil Ross, a mushroom artist and engineer of sorts. “A living computer sounds so crazy but its also very reachable,” he says.
Ross has been experimenting with mushrooms since the ‘90s, when he became interested in their medicinal properties and health benefits. Once he found they were infinitely renewable and understood the materials could conform to the shapes and conditions of the environment, the artist began dreaming up more complex forms.
Mushrooms, Ross says, are a “self-extinguishing organic material” that can be used to create habitats for humans on Earth or even in space. He is currently working on a prototype, envisioning a demonstration building on the San Francisco waterfront to show how mushrooms can be used as building materials.
“When we’re done with it, we can just push [the building] into the bay,” Ross says. “Mushrooms change the politics and aesthetics of pollution.”