UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– A research team led by Benay Gürsoy, assistant professor of architecture and director of the Form and Matter (ForMat) laboratory at the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing, has been awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Upjohn Research Initiative grant to advance the study of biodegradable building composites made from mycelium, which comes from the root of fungi.
Gürsoy and Ali Ghazvinian, a doctoral student in architecture that Gürsoy advises, won the $ 25,000 prize for their project proposal, “From waste to biodegradable structures with local fungus species”.
AIA funds will be matched by the Department of Architecture at the Stuckeman School, giving Gürsoy a total of $ 50,000 to continue research on composites made from mycelium, a biodegradable material that can be used for structures architectural.
“We proposed to build two large-scale prototypes, one called ‘MycoCreateII’ and the other ‘MycoPrint’,” explained Gürsoy. “We are exploring how we can 3D print mycelium-based composites for structural use. We want to build a proof of concept-structure in [3D] printing of structural components.
In addition to building the prototypes, the grant will go towards other expenses, such as lab tests, materials, and support for architectural students working on the project.