Is The Mushroom The New Urban Gadget?

The architects of Olson Kundig have built a small mushroom farm in the storefront of their studio in Seattle.

Mushrooms are growing on the left-overs of the city’s thriving coffee culture. Olson Kundig’s installation is meant to be a home growing gallery for urban experimentation, as Unconsumption explains. It connects the beauty of the mushroom cultivation with the urban home growing trend.

The Mushroom Farm project reacts on the coffee culture that explodes in Seattle and in almost every other city in the world. Coffee waste is very nutrient-rich and forms the perfect fertilizer for this indoor mushroom farm. The center of the micro farm consists of an impressive mushroom-growing tent constructed out of salvaged plywood and plastic.

“Visitors are invited to tour the cocoon-like tent and witness urban farming firsthand in the form of 215 oyster mushroom growing bags, expected to eventually yield over 200 pounds of mushrooms, all to be donated to programs that feed local families. Visitors can also observe how repurposed coffee grounds from nearby cafes (including Starbucks) become the compost that catalyzes urban agricultural practices such as this one.”

Mushroom farming is becoming a new urban hype as part of a wider home farming trend. The Amsterdam-based contemporary art institute Mediamatic has hosted an interesting exhibition about mushrooms and their growing process. People were invited to cultivate their own shiitake mushrooms during the expo. But mushrooms can do more to the city. In his TED talk, mycologist and author Paul Stamets explains why mushrooms can save the world. Click here to check it out.