Several universities in Germany are researching bio-construction materials as the insulation and building material of the future. The goal: to replace steel, concrete and bricks as building materials. The big favourites among these new building materials are certain species of fungi. ARTE Info took a closer look at them together with biotechnologist and artist Vera Meyer. The 2-minute video appeared on 26.8.21 at ARTE Journal and can be viewed here.
The SciArt collective MY-CO-X led by Berlin microbiologist Vera Meyer demonstrates that you can also build houses and furniture with mushrooms. As part of the "tinyBE" exhibition series, the team is currently presenting a habitable sculpture made of wood, straw and mushrooms in Frankfurt's Metzlerpark. Find out more under Living in Fungi.
Fungi are extremely useful, a good material and simply beautiful, thinks Vera Meyer. She is researching a material made of fungi that could replace concrete and plastic. Vera Meyer is fascinated by the biological potential of fungi and also approaches them as an artist. She has just created an inhabitable mushroom sculpture. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, she provides insights into her world of fungi.
„Sculptures by "tinyBE" invite you to think about life in a new way in Frankfurt's Metzlerpark, Wiesbaden and Darmstadt - and could become the exhibition event of the season. All the positions in the exhibition are contemporary sculptures in public space. That's why it's less about architecture and more about artistic form." More about the article by Christoph Schütte, which appeared in the FAZ on 29.6.2021, can be found here.
There is a world that remains hidden from our eyes. Tiny bacteria and fungi colonise not only our bodies, but pretty much everything. These tiny organisms are both essential for survival and deadly at the same time. Biotechnologist Prof. Vera Meyer from the TU Berlin and Prof. Jens Rolff, evolutionary biologist at the FU Berlin, provide insight into the invisible world. Listen to ther podcast from 8.6.2021 here.
Vera Meyer was interviewed about her work as a biotechnologist and artist as part of www.biooekonomie.de’sseries on bio-pioneers. “As a biotechnologist, she researches the growth and metabolic potential of fungi, while allowing their transformative power to inspire the sculptures and images she creates as an artist. Meyer’s work is driven by her vision of a world where everyday life is shaped by fungi used to produce agents, construction materials, furniture, and even clothing. Make sure not to miss her video spotlight as well as her guest appearance onthe biooekonomie podcast where she speaks with Oliver Päßler.
A report on fungi as art objects and the key to the future was published in Der Tagesspiegel on 29.11.2020 as part of the newspaper’s feature on renewable resources. The article also contains initial information about the upcoming project MY-CO SPACE - Take a look!
SPIEGEL Wissenschaft visited our academic chair as part of its piece “Was Pilze alles können”, which takes a look at promising products made from fungi, such as wallets, meat substitutes, and building materials. Watch the video here to learn more.
The rbb television channel returned to our academic chair to gain a look into the work undertaken by Vera Meyer and her team. A short video was broadcast during the Abendschau program on 16.11.2020 as part of ARD's week dedicated to the topic #WIELEBEN.
The NDR television channel visited our academic chair and Vera Mayer’s private studio for a feature on Meyer as scientist and artist. The result was a brief but inspiring piece on her work. Don’t miss it!
German television channel ZDF once again visited us, this time for the documentary series "planet e”. For the episode "The secret power of fungi," they spoke with several international research teams showing the historical impact and immensely beneficial, but also endangering potential of these versatile survival specialists. Watch here
The rbb television channel visited our academic chair to learn about the possibilities of constructing with fungal-based materials. The interview between moderator Sven Oswald and Vera Meyer is featured in the documentary series "The truth about..." Feel free to take a look at the episode "...construction of the future".
The newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published an article on building with fungal-based materials in its “Bauen & Wohnen” section. The article showcases how houses and furniture can be completely built from mycelium. This renewable resource can replace concrete and styrofoam and is both environmentally friendly and affordable. And in the end, everything can be tossed in the compost bin. Read the article here.
In June 2020, Vera Meyer was happy to speak with www.bioökonomie.de and answer a few questions. The interview is about fungi, art, citizen science and of course bioeconomy – in short: it’s absolutely worth a read. Take a look here.
Radio France visited our chair and asked Vera Meyer, Bertram Schmidt and Kustrim Cerimi how fungi can contribute to a biobased circular economy. The interview resulted in two podcasts broadcasted in June 2020. French-speakers are invited to listen to podcast 1 and podcast 2. Nous vous souhaitons beaucoup de plaisir!
The joint press release issued by TU Berlin and TU Munich concerning the 2020 white paper published by the think tank Eurofung (of which Vera Meyer is speaker) made an impression on the radio station Bayerischer Rundfunk. During an interview with Renate Ell, for the magazine "IQ - Wissenschaft und Forschung" on 17 June 2020, Philipp Benz (TU Munich) and Charlotte Steiniger from our team spoke about what we can and might do with fungi today and in future. Click here to listen.
Our holistic research concept – to understand fungi as friends and foes and to use that as a driving force for biotechnologial applications – was presented on 6 June at the virtual Long Night of the Sciences on RadioEins. Our postdocs Charlotte Steiniger and Bertram Schmidt met the challenge and answered the questions posed by host Julia Vismann. Click here to listen.
The BMBF has dedicated the 2020 Science Year to bioeconomy and "Köpfe des Wandels.” As part of this theme, “experts answer exciting questions arising from the transition to a biobased and resource-efficient economy and lifestyle.” Vera Meyer and Philipp Benz from TU Munich took part and shared about fungal biotechnology for circular bioeconomy.
Excerpt from the press release: “How will we be able to feed 10 billion people in the not too distant future without causing widespread environmental damage? How can we meet the rising demand for leather and textiles among a growing population while significantly reducing water consumption and avoiding animal suffering? How can we stop using petroleum and still be able to manufacture products for the chemical industry? How can we construct climate-neutral buildings without using environmentally harmful concrete? These are just some of the questions which humankind is facing today. Potential answers to all these questions can be found in the latest developments in fungal biotechnology, which can now be read in a white paper entitled ‘Growing a circular economy with fungal biotechnology’."
Discussing the recently published white paper, the DECHEMA newsletter put it nicely: “Bike helmets, insulating materials, and fake leather from fungal mycelium – products made from filamentous fungi have recently been making headlines. Fungi additionally play an important role as cellular factories and in artificial meat substitutes. A white paper by the think tank EUROFUNG shows how filamentous fungi might become a central basis for bioeconomy." Enjoy reading!
At the start of the year, Vera Meyer was interviewed by the website LizzyNet about our research and the promising potential of fungi as materials of the future. LizzyNet is a non-profit online magazine for girls and young women dedicated to the topics politics & environment, culture, research & education, and internet & multimedia. The online magazine aims to encourage girls’ interest in topics relating to the environment, sustainability, and politics as well as the MINT disciplines. We are a fan and are happy to join in!
We welcomed visitors from the German television channel ZDF to learn about our project "Mind the Fungi!" They created an attractive clip about fungi as construction materials of the future, which was broadcast on ZDF moma:future. Be sure to watch it!
As part of the 2020 Science Year dedicated to bioeconomy, the Deutsche Presseagentur (DPA) visited our chair in January 2020. A number of articles, including for the Tagesspiegel and WELT newspapers, were published as a result. More information about how fungi could save the world can be found here.
The University published a press release on Vera Meyer’s most recent fungi-based art project. Take a look.
In its science section, Berliner Zeitung published an article on the comprehensive biotechnological use of fungi. "Mit Schimmel die Welt retten" - Read the article.
The article features four key researchers at the Long Night of the Sciences, including Vera Meyer in a section titled “VERA MEYER: SCHÖNES FINDEN."