Katya Bryskina: Liform—Living Megastructures

, Gallery

A close-up footage of mycelium structures on the fifth and the fifteenth days of growth respectively.

The Liform project by Katya Bryskina is an ongoing investigation and series of curated experiments which use mycelium to grow complex structures. The project brings together natural intelligence and the latest technologies to open up new possibilities in art and architecture.

Mycelium is the root-like fibrous vegetative part of fungus, mostly composed of chitin. Mycelium acts as a bonding agent that penetrates in fibers and closes gaps of woven structures with new patterns. Changing parameters—such as light, or reducing the amount of air—affects the growth of the mycelium structure, its growing speed, direction, and color.

Liform was on show at the Darwin Museum in Moscow as part of the Museum of False History exhibit through September 12, 2021.

The exhibit was curated by Higher School of Economics students as part of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s master’s program in Practices of Contemporary Art and Curatorship.

Bryskina grows these multi-layered, dynamic “soft systems” using incubators, and by changing the growth variables. Bio fabrication incubators form and support artificial environments which stimulate the mycelium megastructure’s growth. These incubators unite analog craft techniques, modern technology, and living organisms. Thus, a set of novel symbiotic outcomes and structures are produced that could never occur naturally. Human and natural systems engage in an interspecies learning process, constantly pushing boundaries and adjusting to each other.

Liform: Living Megastructure on show at Orekhov Gallery, 2020

The project is presented in two distinct stages: the dark phase and the final phase. The dark phase is the active process of growth and formation. While the objects grow, they smell like a real forest. In the final phase, the organism is dried to stop its growth and to solidify its form.

The shift towards biocentrism requires searching for new possibilities for constructing living megastructures. Liform looks to create spaces balanced between the analog and the computational, the natural and the artificial, the human and the non-human.

Morphological Adaptation to Air, 2021. This set of experiments is focused on the organism’s ability to adapt to given conditions and create a functional system in the process. In the air, mycelium needs to act differently compared to the natural environment when it grows under the ground. It forces mycelium to create novel morphologies to get nutritions and water.

Digital growth experiment by Katya Bryskina.

Katya Bryskina

Katya Bryskina is an architect, artist, and computational designer. She combines digital fabrication and inspirations from biology to bring ecosystemic thought and aesthetics to the built environment. Katya co-founded the Intelligent Morphology in Architecture (IM-A) Studio, an interdisciplinary design studio that focuses on the intersection between biology, digital fabrication, and computational design. She holds a Master in Emergent Technology and Design from the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London, UK). She was a researcher at “The New Normal” think-tank at Strelka Institute (Moscow, RU) and was a resident at SPACE10, The Research and Design Lab (Copenhagen, DE). Katya became a NOVA ART Contest finalist (St.Petersburg).


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