This morning I talked to Kaspar König. Kaspar's function at ZHdK is «Künstlerischer Mitarbeiter Nachhaltigkeit». I knew him from an input he gave us in the Soft Architecture course in our second year, from the Nachhaltigkeitswoche and his mentorate of Marcial's bachelor thesis. I was excited to hear his thoughts on the topic of mycology.
In the afternoon I talked to Roman Kirschner. We had a vivid exchange with Roman sharing me a couple of new references and me sharing the topic areas I am currently investigating.
Roman is one of the mentors for this years Bio Design Challenge and he invited me to join the presentations on Thursday. There is the possibility of joining the BDC with my BA thesis or use the platform for exchange and inspiration. He is also in the process of establishing a wet lab within Interaction Design. So far there is a microscope at the IAD lab, a bentolab, a spectrometer and a laminar flow hood build after BioHack Academy guides. I will most definitely look at some of my cultures through the microscope and play around with the bentolab as soon as I get the chance. Building a laminar flow hood has been on my list since a couple months already. The build guides come in handy.
DIY Sterile Hood by http://biohackacademy.github.io/
Further Roman mentioned Toby Kiers, who is looking at mycorrhizal networks through the lens of economics. He mentioned Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's book «The Mushroom at the End of the World», which has been on my reading list.
The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Genspace in new york seems to be conducting workshops via Zoom on a regular basis. He also mentioned a community around mycoremediation existing in Zurich. I'll have to investigate that further. ZHdK alumnis went to hunt for bioluminescent genus Amillaria at Üetliberg.
P.Stipticus in a agar plate – hackteria.org
Now it's about finding the field that most captures my imagination. Roman adviced me to ask myself: «what makes fungi so special?» And to weave my narrative out of the answers. Surely hunting for wild mushroom in the forest and gathering the fruit bodies for food are not the end of human fungal interaction. So when I embark on this journey to get my hands dirty, why am I going to get my hands dirty?
Thanks for this inspiring discussion, Roman.