Funghi Lab

How can the circular economy be put into practice in a local context, starting from the existing local skills?

Funghi Lab is an exploratory process of designing, prototyping and testing a system to produce, distribute and market mushrooms from waste (resources) in Genk. In several cities the potential of growing food based on organic waste material has already been explored. Some of these possibilities are now concretely experimented with and tested in Genk. During this experiment, existing tools and techniques will be used and brought together in a new system adapted to the context of Genk, facilitated in a series of labs with local partners.

Funghi Lab was conceived in the design research lab De Andere Markt in Genk that imagines the future of work with citizens. De Andere Markt maps the existing skills of the citizens. As a result of this mapping process different projects to develop workstations have been kick-started. Because of the abundant presence of skills surrounding food (growing vegetables, beekeeping, composting, etc), the lab developed a great interest in designing food-workstations with the community. The project Funghi Lab is thus one of such work-stations.

During MANUFACTUUR 3.0 Ben Hagenaars and Pablo Calderón Salazar will design a system to grow and market mushrooms in three phases and in collaboration with local actors: the collection of fresh coffee grounds that are abundant in the neighbourhood of Winterslag, the production and the distribution of the mushrooms. The main ambition of Funghi Lab is to support local actors in designing and testing different processes of producing, distributing and marketing mushrooms based on their skills. At MANUFACTUUR 3.0, all the Fughi Lab experiments will be made open source, which means that the results will be shared within the community to develop them further.

You can follow FunghiLab’s trajectory on Fungimama’s blog, and see the growing network on this microsite.

* De Andere Markt (Ben Hagenaars, Pablo Calderón Salazar, Liesbeth Huybrechts and Barbara Roosen) In collaboration with Fungimama, an open collective of people who strive to start up a mushroom farm in Genk. This collective is established on the principles of circular economy and sustainability, much like the neighboring MECC-project of artist Koen Vanmechelen (at La Biomista).

Modular bicycles, N55.