Magic Mushrooms: A Material Experiment for MoMA PS1
Text: Insa Thiel
As the winner of this year's YAP 2014 Young Architects Program competition, the fifteenth installation in the Warm Up series, from David Benjamin's New York studio, will be exhibited in the inner courtyard of the Museum of Modern Arts' MoMA PS1 location until 7 September. Bricks that are more grown than manufactured are not merely a novelty; they create a unique effect.
Location: PS1 Contemporary Art Centre, 22-25 Jackson Avenue / 46th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, New York City 11101, USA
Duration: until 7 September 2014
Three inosculated 'pipes' made of organic bricks form the unusual structure and create an entirely new way to cast shade. Grain components and mushroom structures form the basic material for the organic bricks, which can be made in small rectangular moulds in just a few days without producing emissions or requiring any external sources of energy. With help from a reflective surface produced by the company 3M, the moulds themselves have become part of the Hy-Fi tower, forming the upper edging around the top of the pipes. In conjunction with the small apertures in the structure, this produces a sophisticated play of light. The overhead opening of the pipe not only channels warm air upward to create a cool retreat, but also allows a unique view of the sky.
Hy-Fi is an abbreviation for the scientific name for the mushroom organisms used to fabricate the bricks in a process researched and developed in cooperation with New York's company Ecovative. The film shows the manufacturing process of these organisms and the development of the brick-tower project.