SHIFTING PARADIGMS - "Nature's Materials: Growing Plastic Replacements From Mushrooms" (4/10 - 5pm, Nifkin)
Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre were fascinated by mushrooms growing on wood chips, and observing how the fungal mycelium strongly bonded the wood chips together. This inspired them to think of new ways of using mycelium as a resin. They formulated a new process for binding together insulating particles, creating some remarkable materials that could replace Styrofoam™. Rather than just decreasing the environmental impact of conventional polystyrene foams, this invention created a whole new paradigm where composite materials are literally grown, harnessing the incredible efficiency of nature. Their company has won numerous awards and has grown to 35 full-time employees.
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