Art & Sculpture

Take a Seat — With 3D Printed Organic Functionality

Designer Erik Klarenbeek has developed an organic chair with the aid of 3D printing. The studio specializes in what it deems the unusual by incorporating material and perspectives from nature into their art. The Mycelium chair is a stunning example that makes a statement beyond the aesthetic. Mycelium in the vegetative part of fungus, the branching mass that often has a thread-like appearance. Klarenbleek has taken the form and character of mycelium and attached the substance to a chair modelled like expressive branches of hollowed Birchwood skin.

To construct the chair, Klarenbeek consulted with scientists and used experimental 3D printing organic material. The base form of the chair consists of straw and a thin coating of bioplastics. For the printing material, bioplastics mixed with mushroom substrates. Because mycelium forms a thread-like network soaking in nutrients and strengthening its form with biopolymers, the material poured into the chair shells will provide a sound structure once the mycelium is mature.

Printing Mycelium Chair Erik Klarenbeek

The picture shows mushrooms, the fruit of the fungi, which indicates the experimental organic 3D printed material developed dikaryotic mycelium. The design and experiment allows someone to sit in a living chair, to rest in a breathing organism.

It is a beautiful design and fascinating concept underscoring Green possibilities. The design itself embodies the organic with ornate curves and folds, yet it appears functional and relaxing, the right kind of chair to soak in a lazy evening under a Weeping Willow. With a bio mix such as the one used by Klarenbeek, the chair grows and breaths and consumes. It is a living thing holding another living thing in its seat. This design and production made possible with 3D printing experimentation connects, much like the threads of mycelium, technology, art, function and a more natural and healthy relationship between human and nature.

Mycelium Chair Erik Klarenbeek