During her time working in the fashion industry, Valentina Dipietro struggled with designing with planned obsolescence in mind. As she started her MA at the Royal College of Art she was introduced to Bio-fabrication and Circular Economy and these principles highly resonated with her: she wanted to create products that could go back to nature seamlessly.
Growing up in Sicily, she had always been surrounded by nature and developed a fascination with taking care of plants which had been encouraged by her dad who is an agronomist. Combining her love for design and wanting to preserve the natural beauty of her island, she researched into local waste streams that could be transformed into new materials. The most relevant examples being wine, wood and agricultural waste which she processed to create entirely new materials.
Being a textile designer, she started working with natural dyes and incorporated them within mycelium and various sorts of waste. One of these experiments ended up succeeding and that is when Mykor was born.
Mykor is a biotechnology and design company which has at its core digital design and bio-fabrication inspired by nature. We strive for a cross-disciplinary approach combining design, biology and technology, to create a limited series of objects with a unique aesthetic.
Our fabrication technique involves the use of 3D printing, alongside mycology to inoculate and propagate mycelium on urban wood waste from Kent.
Mycelium is the "root" of mushrooms and it works as a natural "glue" as it is used to bind wood waste with natural dyes. The mushroom strains used will bind the waste material, grow in the span of four weeks in the right environmental conditions, involve minimum use of water and air dry naturally. Produced with local waste and inherently carbon-neutral, they are easily decomposed in as little as 45 days. Our packaging is also compostable, dissolvable or fully recyclable.
As more of us live in increasingly urbanised locations, we have found ourselves yearning to spend time surrounded by soil and plants, while breathing fresh air. Mykor materials recreate the feeling of being in nature from within your house as they translate into homeware products, furniture and lighting.
We have developed a unique process in our studio through experimentation with organic materials. Working with wood waste and natural dyes allows us to create a range of natural pigments and textures in the products we create.
Our greatest aim is to raise awareness of the way materials are conventionally used and to challenge the perception of what sustainable design can be. A vase made from wood waste and mushroom mycelium paves the way for those conversations to happen.
Our hand-crafted collection is available from our online shop.
Please get in touch for bespoke or wholesale enquiries.