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Mushrooms work their magic among energy -reducing specifications

Mark Parsons

Home-grown mycelium panels, digitally-printed fabric and a flexible, demountable clamp system for small structures are three firm procurement favourites for Studio Polpo co-founder Mark Parsons

Mycelium Pavillion.
Mycelium Pavillion. Credit: Studio Polpo


We’ve been exploring the use of mycelium in architecture, growing our own panels using waste cardboard and pink oyster mushroom spawn, as well as using a ‘ready mix’ which employs hemp stalks from Grown Bio. A mixture of these panels will be used on a pavilion project in Sheffield, and the oyster panels ( which not only bind waste to create the panels but produce food) have been a great way to engage people in the circular economy.,


Garden Play, The Hepworth.
Garden Play, The Hepworth. Credit: Studio Polpo


We’ve used the Kee-Klamp system on several projects, for small structures and furniture, most recently for The Hepworth gallery’s garden play outreach project, where we had it powder coated. On this and previous projects, we have connected it to coated ply panels and castors in various ways. Importantly for us, it can be disassembled and reconfigured by clients and users at a stage when the originally envisioned design is no longer required, reducing waste and providing flexibility.


High Street of Exchanges, Venice Biennale.
High Street of Exchanges, Venice Biennale. Credit: Jim Stephenson

Digitally printed fabric

We developed a series of 1:1 composite shopfront facade images for our High Street of Exchanges installation at the Venice Biennale, which were digitally printed onto a 110gsm flag knit fabric. We needed something lightweight that allowed graphics to be visible and colorful on both sides in varying light conditions, something crucial for the space they were displayed in. The panels were suspended from, and weighted by, rods passed through sleeved edges.



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