This video is part of the project titled "Continuous Bodies".
Physical decay and physical death are natural processes, without which there could be no new life. On the contrary, traditional existentialism focuses on how people make sense of life in the shadow of death.
In order to try and change this attitude this project places its focus towards a better understanding of the realm of fungi and at their fundamental importance in the environment with regard to decomposition and transformation of both organic and inorganic substrates and the resultant cycling of elements.
How could we make use of fungi’s activity and knowledge as a guidance for better understanding the cyclicity of every existing thing?
Throughout the process the designer comes to act as an interdisciplinary translator, facilitating communication between different fields of action, particularly between biologic science and design.
The direct collaboration with mycologists becomes the base to explore the potential of recent scientific discoveries related to fungi’s abilities, and open up to a general audience the content of subjects otherwise out of reach.
This process lead to the creation of two different projects - one organic, one inorganic - through which fungal organisms are implemented, envisioninng alternative possibilities, while questioning different attitudes related to modern human culture and “development”.
Within this context the aim of this project is to try to inspire and stimulate a reflection leading to a re-qualification of the general perception towards the fungal kingdom and to the acceptance of the necessity of a true re-connection with the natural world, for a reciprocal symbiotic exchange of benefits.
THE EPHEMERAL ICON;
infusing life to trigger a process of final dissolution.
Why should not a chair, completely made out of syn- thetic, inhert, immortal material, dress up for death?
As a direct continuation to the first part of the project, Bodies of Change, this second part looks at the study and the application of a fungus, Phanerochaete Chrysosporium, to synthetic materials that do not naturally decompose and that are found to provoke unhealthy, risky consequences. Recent research demonstarates the ability of this model fungus in decomposing phenolic resins and more generally in degrading plastics. Merging this finding with a vision allows to create a social narrative to help us questioning our “throw away” culture, while exploiting, in a beneficial way, the resources that this social behaviour created.
In order to translate my overall research and adress issues related to disposability, plastic toxicity, and the possibility of having fungi being able to “kill” this immortal materials, i focused my attention on a globally well-known iconic object: the plastic monobloc chair.
In my project I use this chair as a statement about the life-cycles of consumer products in comparison with the immortality of the materials, most of the consumer products are made of.
The video shows the gradual process of colonization and the consequent transformation of the plastic chair, leading to its final dissolution and “death”.