The World of Mycelium: Unleashing the Potential of Mushrooms in Commercial Design

June 9, 2023 8:46 pm

When fungi first served as the nexus for new ecosystems over 500 million years ago, the dense interconnected networks they created allowed trees and plants to grow and eventually support life on land.

Mycelium, the thread-like roots that form fungal networks underground, are truly one of the planet’s most valuable contributors by absorbing nutrients, then recycling and redistributing them among new sources of life, as well as producing their more commonly known fruiting bodies, mushrooms. 

This amazing connectivity allows trees, plants, and fungi to communicate in shared networks, and provide bio indicators of the environment, all the while producing mushrooms that become a valuable food and medicine source for humans- yet the impact hardly stops here.

Mycelium has quickly become a go-to material for biofabrication in both fashion and product design, while also being used for biomaterials that tap into eco-intelligence and help reduce the use of fossil fuels or petro-based chemicals. Driven by the sustainability movement, this originates from the pursuit of environmentally friendly alternatives and the rejuvenation of our planet through innovative and sustainable practices.

The work and eye-catching beauty of these unsung heroes of the natural world have greatly inspired some of our latest collections. From finding new dyes inspired by actual colors extracted from mushrooms to showcasing intricate mycelium patterns in both soft and hard surface products, we are unleashing the potential of mushrooms in commercial interior design.

It starts with Emergent Thinking, a mindset for the Grown World that goes beyond biophilic design and genuinely focuses on learning how nature works to apply it within design strategies for the Built World. This guiding principle has helped us produce our latest running line and hard surface collections.

Paying tribute to the power of mycelium and mushrooms to connect and sustain our world, Above and Below, which will be launching soon, features four carpet tile styles which include a medium-scale pattern that creates a visual web across the floor. Along with a small-scale textural coordinate that serves as the ground’s surface and a large-scale style that presents a layered, abstract mushroom visual, Above and Below creates transitions that represent the full ecosystem and support the Built World by connecting us to nature’s symbiotic systems.

Our Wild Dyer carpet tile collection, launched earlier this year, celebrates the unexpected colors found in the humble mushroom: By steeping a variety of mushroom species to extract their pigments, a broad palette of hidden hues is revealed. Wild Dyer carpet tiles also use Color Pulse fiber technology to explore these resulting neutral and bright shades while protecting natural resources.   

For the artistic inspiration behind Wild Dyer, we partnered with ArtLifting through the Better Together initiative, commissioning work from artist Laria Saunders. Laria’s fascinating digital photo assemblage paintings combine digital paint work and 50-100 photographs of textures encountered in her daily life, including her incredible depiction of vast mycelium networks between all plant life that enable communication, sharing of resources, and powerful healing aspects.

Our vast, versatile Mycotopia collection of sixteen meditative patterns explores the hidden structures of mushrooms and their ecological importance. These designs emphasize a sense of wellbeing and connection while grounding and centering spaces with natural warmth and organic beauty with a wide range of tufting formats. This includes Definity, Pattern Perfect broadloom and tile, PDI print tile, tufted broadloom, and hand tufted rugs.

Taking Root commercial LVT collection, also launching after NeoCon, features three exceptional styles that display abstract design elements of mushroom structures, mycelium growth, and spalting maple trees. Combining a polished concrete visual infused with the early stages of underground mycelium growth, Transfiguration boasts a look reminiscent of the distinctive biomorphic shapes of turkey tail mushrooms. Inspired by the intricate branching, fusing, and cellular forms of mycelium, Mycotexture tiles also highlight the sunbaked hues of natural mushroom dyes. Zone Lines interprets the natural spalting process that occurs when fungi grows within wood and produces unique, organic outlines on the wood grain. 

By using artistic expression, digital experiences, and biophilic design to foster symbiosis between natural and human communities, we've turned imagination into action while striving towards a future that is more secure, healthy, and just for all.

All products mentioned above will be features at our NeoCon showroom #377. Learn more here: