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It's in our Nature

Fungkee Supercoating

Fungkee is a conceptual brand identity for future biomaterials.

MU_Polarities exhibition — © Boudewijn Bollmann

Fungi can be used to add a wide spectrum of properties to biomaterials, including water repellence, colour and fragrance, which improve the quality of products made by microbes.

The research

Fungi can be used to add a wide spectrum of properties to biomaterials, including water repellence, colour and fragrance, which improve the quality of products made by microbes. The cellulose-based bioleather is produced by bacteria and could replace animal leather in the fashion industry. Currently, the bioleather is not water repellent and the colour is unstable which ultimately leads to premature degradation.

In the collaborative project with Radboud University, we are developing a water repellent fungal coating to improve the functional design of bioleather. To avoid the use of synthetics and to obtain a 100% natural coating, we focus on exploring beneficial attributes of a fungus isolated from a human patient. Although harmful for this patient, the fungus is better known as an edible mushroom.
The coating represents an example of a chemical-free coating that will draw attention in the fashion industry.

The Fungkee Supercoating was presented as a concept store where our future garments are made and protected with the help of powerful microorganisms.

Background

The Fungal Supercoating is a project developed after winning the Bio Art & Design Award 2019 together with cell biologist Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak (Bio-Inspired Think Tank) we applied and got successfully matched to the Radboudumc/Canisius Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis. Together with Professor Paul Verweij and Sybren de Hoog from the Center of Expertise in Mycology we worked for 6 months towards a liquid coating. 

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About Emma van der Leest

Emma is a biodesigner, researcher, curator and teacher. In 2016 she founded BlueCity Lab, an experimental and prototyping laboratory in the former Tropicana water park in Rotterdam. Her work is exhibited worldwide. She holds a research position at WdKA and is tutor at different academies.

Museum de Domeinen: Kunst & Kunststof (Yksi) — © Jeroen van der Wielen

MU_Polarities exhibition — © Boudewijn Bollmann

Fungkee Supercoating

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