Fungus Week 2: Critical Response

Tsing states that “Human nature is an interspecies relationship.” However, over time, she proposes that humanity has moved from a traditional forage-based symbiotic relationship to a control-based relationship of agricultural domestication. 

This concept of man-made environmental control has resulted in our current period known Extinction 6X. This concept is described by Paul Stamets as being a massive period of biological annihilation. Here are the previous extinctions: 

One major factor in this mass extinction is the occurrence of massive worldwide deforestation. Ultimately, forest management reduces fungal diversity. Stamets proposes that this lack of fungal presence in nature may be one possible reason for Colony Collapse Disorder & disappearance of bees.

Bees are attracted to rotting logs & mushrooms for immunological benefits. If there is no fungi & decomposing wood, then bees can’t detoxify their systems making them more susceptible to death.  In some of his experiments, it has been shown that feeding polypore mycelium extract can increase the lifespan of bees as well as reduce their viral count!

It may not seem like it, but what happens to bees (and therefore fungi) affects humankind directly, as approximately 1/3 of every bite is pollinated by bees:

 Hopefully, in the future, mankind will be able to return to a symbiotic relationship with nature instead of our current exploitative one.


Fungus Week 1: Final Project Proposal

In this class, I hope to explore mycelium as a medium within furniture fabrication.

What I propose to do is to incorporate inlays of mycelium into CNC milled wooden furniture. The table design will be inspired by Isamu Noguchi’s tri-coffee table: