Mushrooms: New exhibition delves into the use of mushrooms as upcycled agro-waste to sustainable shoes and more

Mushrooms like most things that come from Mother Nature are incredibly versatile – they can be eaten, they can bring on hallucinations, they can be used as a material in the design of furniture and clothes, and they can even eat through plastic.

Now the humble mushroom is the subject of a new exhibition, Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi, whichcelebrates the rich legacy and potential of the remarkable organism, the ideas it inspires in the poetic, spiritual and psychedelic, and how it is inspiring new thinking around design and architecture.

The exhibition, which is currently on at London’s Somerset House until 26 April, features the works of over 40 artists, designers and musicians who take a look at fungi’s colourful cultural legacy, exploring sustainability and our relationship with the planet.

Mushrooms is split into three themes – Mycophilia, Magic Mushrooms, and Fungi Futures – and includes sculpture, hand-cut collage, painting, drawing, photography and film, and bio-based materials.

Among the works on display is a specially commissioned mycelium-based chair from British designer, Tom Dixon; a solar-powered mushroom suitcase from conceptual artist, Carsten Höller; a decomposable mushroom burial suit by Jae Rhim Lee designed to reduce the damaging environmental impact of the funeral industry; and a sustainable shoe design using mycellium by Belgian shoe designer Kristel Peters.

There will be a number of events to coincide with the exhibition including TABLE, a mushroom-inspired pop-up dining experience from chef and Spring restaurant founder Skye Gyngell.

Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi is currently on at London’s Somerset House until 26 April 2020

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

The Brighton Waste House: A blueprint for public buildings made almost entirely from waste

The Brighton Waste House – made from 20,000 toothbrushes, 4,000 DVD cases, two tonnes of denim jeans, 2,000 floppy discs, 2,000 used carpet tiles, and construction waste – continues to inspire six years after it was constructed.

A permanent building, the award-winning waste house, designed by the architect and University of Brighton lecturer Duncan Baker-Brown, was opened in June 2014 and continues to be a “live” on-going research project and design workshop.

Situated on campus at The University of Brighton’s College for Arts & Humanities in the South of England, The Brighton Waste House was constructed from approximately 90% waste, including surplus material and discarded plastic gathered from the construction industries and homes.

In the construction of the Waste House, 10 tonnes of chalk waste and 10% of clay was used to create a rammed chalk wall. Rammed earth can contribute to the overall energy-efficiency of buildings. The density, thickness and thermal conductivity of rammed earth make it a particularly suitable material for storing passive solar energy as well as that given off by occupants of the building.

The “carbon negative” building, which was built by students and volunteers, also draws attention to the huge environmental consequences of throwing away everyday domestic objects. Therefore the Waste House also “locks away” other sources of waste material, such as duvets, toothbrushes, music cassettes and old plastic razors, that were slotted into wall cavities to help with insulation in the house.

Now an open design research studio, the Brighton Waste House is also available to schools, colleges and community groups for “green” themed events.

Image Credits: The Brighton Waste House and BBM Sustainable Design Limited

The Brighton Waste House

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at