Fungi Kingdom – Urban Farm: Exploring the Potential of Mycelium in Design Applications
In the heart of Buenos Aires, an innovative project called Fungi Kingdom – Urban Farm is taking shape. Created by designers Julio Oropel and Jose Luis Zacarias Otiñano, this installation aims to raise awareness about natural and biodegradable materials, with a particular focus on the potential of mycelium in design applications.
Located in the central hall of the Former Argentine Federal Shooting Building, a National Historic Monument, Fungi Kingdom showcases a unique fusion of science, nature, and creativity. The rationalistic architecture of the building sets the stage for this thought-provoking installation. Adorned with noble materials and polished granite and marble floors, the central hall features a concentric projection, creating a striking visual impact.
The layout of Fungi Kingdom is carefully designed to align with the symmetrical rhythm of the space. A circular structure made of glass and white-colored metal, supported by the central column, serves as a display case for various species of fungi. Surrounding this showcase, 100 white concrete VANKA benches, shaped after the morphology of fungus, are interconnected to form a seating area for contemplation. The fungus stools, supported by white metal plates, spread and branch like mycelia against the walls of the imposing stairway.
At the foot of the stairway, four VANKA white concrete tables with metallic supports create a series of organic sculptures. The entire installation is painted in a white hue, known as ‘Blanco Quirúrgico’, in adherence to the rationalist aesthetics. The polished granite floor, marble ‘boiserie’, and stairway retain their original forms, creating a harmonious blend of the old and the new.
Fungi Kingdom is more than just an artistic installation. It is a conceptual statement that explores ecological and evolutionary thinking about life and living beings. Furthermore, it serves as a meeting place dedicated to education and awareness about natural and biodegradable materials, as well as the potential of mycelium in design applications.
As the world becomes more conscious of the need for sustainable and eco-friendly solutions, projects like Fungi Kingdom are pushing boundaries and showcasing the immense potential of nature-inspired design. By raising awareness and inspiring creativity, this installation is not only a testament to artistic vision but also a catalyst for change in the world of design.
By Julio Oropel and Jose Luis Zacarias Otiñano, Fungi Kingdom – Urban Farm is making a bold statement about the fusion of nature, culture, and technology. It invites visitors to explore the fascinating world of fungi and mycelium while emphasizing the importance of sustainability in design.
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