As an alternative to synthetic materials, designer Nir Meiri has created a series of table lamps using mushroom mycelium. The shades for each of the minimal table lamps are made from mycelium –the vegetative part of a fungus– with metal forming the stand and base.
Each lamp is illuminated from below by a separate light source, which projects onto the mycelium shade to create a soft, natural glow.
The lamps are produced in collaboration with start-up Biohm -also based in London- which works to bring sustainable solutions to the built environment, each of the lamps are made using naturally occurring biological processes.
An article on dezeen.com describes how, to create the shades, paper waste is placed inside a shaped mould before mycelium spores are inserted into it and left to grow under controlled conditions of temperature and humidity. After two weeks the paper waste is been consumed by the fungus, leaving a mycelium base with fungus growing from it. This material is then taken out of the mould and left to dry, and the excess growing fungus is removed.
Once the mycelium has dried completely, it is pressed to form a flat substance that is used as a lamp shade.