Fungi are used in biotechnology as cell factories to produce antibiotics, immunosuppressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antimalarials, insulin, prebiotics, pigments, organic acids, enzymes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and more. The fungal biotechnology of the 20th century succeeded in establishing itself as an essential platform technology for innumerable branches of industry and thus decisively shapes our daily life and lifestyle in an invisible way. At the moment, fungal biotechnology is undergoing a disruptive innovation process, which we want to co-design with other researchers at TU Berlin as well as with citizen scientists. Fungi produced on the basis of renewable plant raw materials in a biotechnological process are to be converted, with far-reaching consequences, into new materials used for packaging or even building.
In the research project "Mind the Fungi" (2018 - 2020), we used the interdisciplinary concept From STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Art) to harness the inspiring and catalyzing power of art to develop new ideas and technologies for fungal-based materials of the future at TU Berlin through collaboration with Berlin-based scientists, artists and citizens. In addition, we used artists-in-residence programmes to use art as a multiplier and communicator of scientific questions, challenges and findings to the public. In the projects MY-CO SPACE and MY-CO BUILD, which started in 2021, we are researching fungal-based materials together with interested parties from science, the arts, architecture, design and the society.
For further information, please contact: Prof. Vera Meyer