Sustainable product development with mycelium

The client is a sustainable and innovative start-up based in Deventer, the Netherlands, which develops and produces products made from 100% natural raw materials. These raw materials are hemp fibres, sawdust and mycelium (mycelium is the three-dimensional thread network of mushrooms). In the production of the various products, the basic raw material is filled into a mould. Within a week, the mycelium has fully grown through the sawdust and hemp fibres and taken on a solid form. The products made are then dried and a fully biodegradable utensil has been created.

The client’s products include urns, acoustic panels and flower boxes/room dividers. Customers include funeral directors, architects, office decorators and landscapers.

The client’s ambition is to contribute to a future in which bio-based product development becomes the norm and thus counteracts the current waste problem. It does so both by designing and producing products and by organizing workshops/knowledge meetings and cooperating with various companies, organizations and educational institutions.

Together with the Smart Solutions students, the client wants to develop a new product for interior design, based on the following principles: locally produced, using residual heat (for the cultivation and growth process), mycelium as a basic raw material, applied art and sales potential.

Which students are sought? Creative, enterprising, and goal-oriented business are the basic requirements for the project group members. The project group members will be given a free design assignment for a new product to be developed/designed, the design and production of a matching (growthimal, researching and advising on a 100 % natural coating, market research and corresponding marketing/sales plan.

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):