Mycovase is a sculptural mushroom fruiting chamber that aims to display the values of people that grow their own food. These values are defined by keywords gathered from interviews, which are later on used for sketch ideations.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD?
Through interviews, a list of keywords was collected and arranged into a word cloud. Interviewees were asked what values they see in growing their own food at home.
MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
It came to notice that many of the keywords listed were somehow related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. With that in mind, the top three most important words were chosen from the word cloud.
A process of constantly improving one’s self in order to overcome obstacles. In nature, it is the act of always striving to reach the fullest potential.In nature, the fundamental law of growth is widely manifested through layering.
It is a key moment in life. Understanding the daunting idea of autonomy can be difficult at first, but fundamental to accomplish a better lifestyle. A sense of independence can be noticed in one’s confidence, which is also shown in posture.
Two conflicting emotions attempt to drown each other. One could be upset at the fact that a prison-like fence hides the plants’ beauty away, while someone else appreciates the security it provides. A contrast of two textures coexisting offers a sense of an emotional rollercoaster.
The Emotional Rollercoaster keyword emerged when interviewees talked about the bittersweet emotions they experience when caring for their plants and later on having to harvest them.
Early form explorations captured the essence of the target keywords, but the forms were also too detailed and delivered other unwanted feelings.
The forms evolved better by simplifying the early ideation sketches. Simpler features communicate a feeling faster than complex ideas.
TURNING THE FORM INTO A PRODUCT
The form had to be further developed in order to make it a functional product. Through side view sketches I was able to define the product’s overall envelope.
FURTHER FORM DEVELOPMENT
To better define the details on the form, the layering patterns and angles were determined by analyzing existing studies on how plants grow. These studies are mainly based on mathematics. Studies Source: ON GROWTH AND FORM by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson.
MATERIAL & FUNCTION EXPLORATION: CERAMICS
While ceramics require a lengthy process to achieve a final product, it provides great qualities such as durability, unique aesthetics, food safety compliance and most importantly, they are water resistant. Manufacturing processes are rapidly evolving and the 3D printing of ceramics is a great option for producing complex organic forms.
MATERIAL & FUNCTION EXPLORATION: ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS
The idea of making a product out of plastic and electronic components was considered. While it would be a highly functional product, it felt like it could be easily perceived as a toy and not taken seriously. These qualities also devalue the meaning of the keywords that influence my design.
HOW IT WORKS:
Mushrooms require fresh, clean air to grow healthy.
CARBON DIOXIDE RELEASED BY MUSHROOMS RISES AND EXITS THROUGH VENTS
SOME LIGHT ENTERS THROUGH THE VENTS
VENTS ARE HIDDEN ON THE EDGES OF THE LAYERS
AS THE MUSHROOMS BEGIN TO GROW, IT IS SAFE TO REMOVE THE LID FOR THE MUSHROOMS TO GROW TO THEIR FULL SIZE.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE MISTING THE CHAMBER TO MAINTAIN A HIGH LEVEL OF HUMIDITY.
FRESH AIR ENTERS THE CHAMBER THROUGH THE VENTS
VIEW: LID COVER REMOVED
WET PERLITE MAINTAINS HIGH HUMIDITY WITHIN THE FRUITING CHAMBER