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Architecture d’intérieur

Growing Shelter: A mycelium application manual to grow temporary shelters

Lisa Maahsen is a German-Swiss interior architect graduate with a strong drive for multidisciplinary innovation and improving the quality of life through design. With a deep fascination for how spaces impact emotions, she pursued her Bachelor’s in Interior Architecture at the Hochschule für Technik in Stuttgart, exploring diverse areas such as spatial design, furniture design, and scenography.

Growing Shelter explores the potential applications of mycelium-grown elements for the construction of temporary shelters, prompting us to reconsider our perception of time in architectural design. The rapid growth characteristics of mycelium make it a suitable building material for structures that require quick assembly and easy dismantling. This material requires minimal energy to grow and can be tailored to various uses. Mycelium-based structures contribute to waste reduction and minimize the environmental impact of temporary installations.

The increasing frequency and severity of disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and conflicts, have heightened the demand for shelter solutions. Current evacuation plans offer emergency housing for a few nights, where individuals wait to be relocated to transitional accommodations. However, many people end up residing in these emergency shelters for months under substandard conditions. The use of mycelium addresses multiple issues prevalent in contemporary shelters, such as noise, lack of privacy, and the loss of connection.

The project develops a method and a reproducible technical process to cultivate shelter components directly on-site, where they are needed, within a three-day timeframe. A biodegradable net scaffold aids in shaping the mycelium components into distinctive and personalized safe spaces.

Lisa Maahsen
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Leonid Slonimsky & Paule Perron

Lisa Maahsen final presentation

Image Credits: © HEAD-Genève, Guillaume Collignon