Mushrooms are used in biotechnology as cell factories to produce antibiotics, immunosuppressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antimalarials, insulin, prebiotics, pigments, organic acids, enzymes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and more. The fungal biotechnology of the 20th century managed to establish itself as an essential platform technology for innumerable branches of industry and thus decisively shapes our daily life and our lifestyle in an invisible way. At the moment, fungal biotechnology is undergoing a disruptive innovation process, which we want to co-design with other departments of the TU Berlin as well as with citizen scientists. Mushrooms, which are produced on the basis of renewable plant raw materials in a biotechnological process, are to be converted, with far-reaching consequences, into new materials used for packaging or even building.
Using the interdisciplinary concept From STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) in the project “Mind the Fungi“, we will also use the inspiring and catalysing power of art to collaborate with Berlin citizens to develop new ideas and technologies for mushroom-based materials of the future at the TU Berlin. In addition, we use artists in residence programs to use art as a multiplier and communicator of scientific questions, challenges and findings to the public. Our goal is a new and innovative one: To establish a research field at the Technical University of Berlin, which dares from the start to build a bridge with the growing Citizen Science community to integrate their expertise early on.
Project Mind the fungi in the FUTURIUM
Our project “Mind the Fungi” is presented in the FUTURIUM! Until December 2020, we will be there with changing material. All relevant details can be found here or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_qfB8A-qM and https://futurium.de/en/feature-art-lab.
Also read more at http://www.artlaboratory-berlin.org/html/de-Mind-the-Fungi.htm
Poject “Mind the fungi” on television (Click to play; German only)
Deutsche Welle: Can mushrooms replace plastic? (Click to play)
Source: TU Berlin, press release, 2020-12-02.
Author: Dr. Charlotte Steiniger