The combination of design, biology and technology lies at the heart of Morgan Ruben’s objects. Although our lives are increasingly urbanized and stress-filled, human’s innate attraction to nature remains unchanged. As such, design that incorporates elements of nature into our built environment and hereby stimulates our well-being, is more important than ever. Folium, a leaf-shaped lighting installation, is a prime example of Morgan Ruben’s explorations into bio design.
Instead of merely drawing on biology for inspiration, Folium actually incorporates living organisms into its design as a material source. The delicate leaf-shape is grown out of mycelium, the root system of mushrooms. As fungal colonies digest organic matter (hemp fiber, in this case), mycelium grows in the shape of a mold. By experimenting with temperature, light, humidity and time, this natural material can be manipulated into any desired shape and color. By itself, mycelium has a rough look and feel to it. However, Morgan Ruben aims to transform it into a marble-like, premium material as insight into its qualities increases with time.