Fancy a fungal future? – Art & Culture

From sustainable fashion and home decor to disaster relief, Indonesian biotechnology company MYCL plans to take over – and save – the world, one mushroom at a time

“For MYCL to grow and really leave an impact, we need help from designers, architects and builders to explore how far this material can go. We believe that as innovators, we’ve only scratched the surface.” – Ronaldiaz Hartantyo

Fancy a fungal future?

(Courtesy Photo of MYCL)

rom soup to pizza, from that moldy bread in the back of your cupboard to shrieking zombies hell-bent on infecting survivors on TV, mushrooms are a constant presence in our daily lives. But aside from these much-appreciated culinary treats and entertainment, mushrooms can actually play a more significant role in our future.

In his book Mycelium Running, renowned mycologist Paul Stamets wrote that “mushrooms can save the world”a mantra that Bandung-based Mycotech Lab (MYCL) has taken to heart.

Founded in 2015, MYCL is an Indonesian biotechnology company that specializes in mushroom products, particularly mycelium-based creations.

(Courtesy Photo of MYCL)

(Courtesy Photo of MYCL)

Initially, the company sold do-it-yourself mushroom kits known as grow boxes, but inspiration struck when MYCL were looking at the creation process of tempeh, a much-loved Indonesian staple that uses a Rhizopus fungi in its fermentation.

This jolt of inspiration prompted the team to begin experimenting with mushrooms, where they discovered the uniquely resilient properties of mycelium, setting them on the path to become the innovators they are today.

Since most people are familiar with the mushrooms served on their dining tables, the question is, how can they become more than just an entrée?

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