Mycelium-Based Composites: from Research to Pedagogy
Student crafting MBC during the Liquid Modelling workshop (2020)
6 pm
Technical University of Darmstadt | Department of Architecture | Lecture Hall L3I01 / 91


Mycelium-Based Composites: from Research to Pedagogy

Adrien Rigobello & Andrea Rossi

The increasing interest for the mycelium-based composites in design activities requires to reconsidering the epistemology of design technologies pedagogy. While current research in biochemistry, genetics and biology advance expert knowledge for the understanding and mastering of these techniques, the introduction of generalist profiles, such as the ones of architects and designers, to these challenges changes the nature of the knowledge that can and should be transmitted, as well as its transmission methods. The fermentation system is as affordable as foraging for a common wood-degrading fungal species, wood debris and rainwater, and easier than making bread. This provides an opportunity to reconsider the pedagogical interest and effectivity of somatic tacit knowledge and the apprenticeship teaching model for design education.
These techniques are often researched and taught in contexts that are adjacent to computational design education—in the field of architectural technologies. This is an area of design that also sees emerging controversies about the nature of the architectural expertise because of its heavy reliance on explicit knowledge and black-boxed models of knowledge transmission. From two contexts of architectural education, we will report and discuss on pedagogical observations and prospects for a teaching of technologies nourished by a refocusing on tacit knowledge and student agency development.

Adrien Rigobello is a designer and industrial engineer; he is a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen within the Centre for IT and Architecture. His research focuses on restorative design techniques and theories through fungal architectures. Adrien is the vice-president and founder of the NGO design studio thr34d5 which researches inclusive design through craft and digital tools, and is the former academic coordinator of the Advanced Master Design by Data in Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

Andrea Rossi is an architectural researcher and computational designer. He recently completed his doctorate at the DDU Digital Design Unit at TU Darmstadt, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Experimental and Digital Design and Construction chair at the University of Kassel. His research focus is on computational design, robotic fabrication and architectural biomaterials. He is part of the board of the Fieldstations e.V. association, where he is co-hosting the “Anthropocene Pedagogies in Architecture” platform. He is the developer of Wasp, an open-source software toolkit for combinatorial and discrete modelling.

The event is part of the lecture series Order | Disorder. The lecture will take place at Technical University of Darmstadt and will be held in English.