The Living Column

The Living Column is a full scale architectural artifact built out of living biological material. The shape is defined by a highly engineered 3D printed formwork, specifically designed for supporting life and fabricated out of water soluble material.

In 2015, a 3D printed chair was built with a living mycelium substrate which generates a dense bio-polymer matrix while growing. Building up on this research, the Living Column expands the investigation towards more compatible, specialized 3D printed formwork.

The formwork contains features for optimizing living conditions for the mycelium. It provides shelter, nutrients and humidity, as well as a stable shape for the column. Once growth has finished, the formwork is dissolved in water and recycled, while the biological polymer is dried to consolidate its structure.

This objective of this research is to create a 2.1-metre-tall column made out of sustainable, fire resistant and bio-degradable bio-polymer.

…how does then the natural, the dynamic, evolving and vivid, merge with the artificial, the static, solid, anthropogenic, and man-made, and what is humanity’s role, as mediator between the two but also as part of both?

Manuel Kretzer; Ludger Hovestadt, „Alive, Advancements in Adaptive Architecture