CBC has interviewed Associate Professor Joe Dahmen and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Nicholas Lin about their research into engineered living materials, and the potential of mycelium to reduce the environmental impact of construction materials. The team at the Biogenic Architecture Lab, founded by Dahmen in 2021, is developing a 3D-printable material that combines mushroom roots with plant fibres.

Lin speculates this material could one day help filter the air in buildings, a function of increasing importance as wild fires worsen each year. “Could we engineer these mushrooms so if there’s a lot of smoke from wildfires, they could recognize that — and produce more of these fibrous fuzzy materials to capture this particulate matter?”