Mending with Mycelium

Duration: Apr. 2021 – Feb. 2022

Keywords: Alternative Reality, Biomaterial, Mending, Locality, Circularity

1. Material Research & Development

I developed a method to invite mycelium into the practice
of mending worn-down sneaker soles.
It came about from my findings of mycelium weaving
itself through synthetic textile and creating a new surface
similar to darning.

2. Alternative Reality Research & Development

2-1. Human-Mushroom Relations

Many magical stories about mushrooms exist around the world.
Mushrooms often have agency in Japanese folk stories.


2-2. Local Materials of Kyoto city

Almost all materials for mending with mycelium can be found within a 20km radius.


*1: Tetsuya Maeoka. “The Big Book of Monsters – No.22004: The Bakemono Mushroom.” News Wakayama, News Wakayama, 3 Apr. 2021
*2: Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi (The Old Japanese Story) “The Haunted Shimeji” Air Date: November 21, 1992 Drawing: Kosei Maeda 
*3: July 10, 2021 – A hiker showed me a photo of a Reishi he found that day I went mushroom hunting to Takaragaike for research. Reishi is a strong mushroom which I used for the research.
*4: Map of Kyoto, google maps

3. Proposal of Alternative Reality

3-1. Picture book “The Mycelium and the Kin-ji-ya”

Based on my research I wrote a story on the daily life of a 「菌治屋」 (“Kin-ji-ya”), a professional who collaborates with mycelium to mend objects) and created a picture book to communicate it to a wide audience.

3-2. Tools and recipe for Mending with Mycelium  

I designed tools and a recipe for the 「菌治屋」 (“Kin-ji-ya”)  to mend with mycelium.

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