06/16/2023 | Pressemitteilung

Building more sustainably with mushrooms

Making living biomaterials such as fungi usable for architecture - that is the aim of "Robotic BioConstruction". The new project in the Department of Experimental and Digital Design and Construction at the University of Kassel is being funded by the Volkswagen Foundation with 800,000 euros.

Image: Nicolas Wefers.

The researchers are developing a large-scale device that combines the hardware and software to produce walls and other components for architectural applications from living biomaterials, for example. They should meet industrial standards in terms of stability and durability, while also being fully recyclable and biodegradable.

Two postdoctoral positions will be created as part of the project; one with a focus on digital design and robotic fabrication, the second with a focus on biotechnology. In addition, new laboratory equipment will be acquired that can be used, for example, to precisely control and monitor the growth of mycelium, the root system of fungi.

"In contrast to conventional materials, the growth process can be integrated into the design and manufacturing process. This makes it possible to grow the material directly into specific shapes and also to adapt the control of the growth conditions to the material properties. The funding will enable us to expand and further professionalize our existing research in the field of sustainable construction," says Prof. Philipp Eversmann, Head of the Department of Experimental and Digital Design and Construction.

The department has already been researching the use of ecologically compatible materials using robot technology for several years. In the past, the focus was primarily on timber construction. Over time, another organic raw material, the East Asian reishi mushroom, came into focus.

The Volkswagen Foundation's Momentum Initiative supports scientists in an early phase after taking up their first lifetime professorship. The aim is to provide them with opportunities to further develop the content and strategy of their professorship during this career phase. The initial funding period is four years. Subsequently, a second funding phase can be applied for, which is endowed with 200,000 euros.

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Prof. Philipp Eversmann

Department of Experimental and Digital Design and Construction

Phone: +49 561 804-3473

E-mail: eversmann[at]asl.uni-kassel[dot]de