Detail of fractal patterns on a self-patterning mycelium rubber. © Carole Collet, 2016.
by Carole Collet
I use this term in reference to a specific experiment with mycelium culture grown on waste ground coffee conducted in 2016. Fractal patterns appear (as seen in the figure) on the surface of the growing material that are outside my control. The patterns exist where the mycelium has not grown (for unknown reasons). They are not the result of a moulding or dripping technique but rather the manifestation of a dynamic biological activity. As a result, we can see a set of defined patterns that have evolved outside of any design intention.
Carole Collet is Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures at Central Saint Martins UAL, where she is director of @maisonzero, the CSM LVMH Sustainable Innovation Programme and also director of the @designandlivingsystems Lab. She has pioneered the integration of sustainability into the curriculum at Central Saint Martins by creating new courses such as the MA in Textile Futures in 2001 (now Material Futures) and the first MA in Biodesign in 2019. Her research includes biomaterial prototyping as well as exhibition and conference curation and publication. Her work has been featured in international exhibitions, including at the V&A and the Centre Pompidou.
The Living Systems Lab Symposium by Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London (UAL), in collaboration with maat, introduces research projects which exist at the intersection of art, design, architecture and biology by Carole Collet, Heather Barnett, Nancy Diniz, Alice Taylor and Rob Kesseler.