Who knew decor made out of mushrooms could look so elegant?
That was our thought last summer when we walked into Danielle Trofe’s studio in Industry City. Her MushLume collection of lamps is in part derived from mycelium, the filaments that make up the mass of a mushroom. The textured off-white lampshades, in varying shapes and sizes, cut a distinct figure.
In addition to creating those mushroom lamps, Trofe, whom we named Scientist of the Year at the 2016 Brooklyn Innovation Awards, has been an ambassador of sorts for the materials science behind them. She’s partnered with Ecovative, the company behind the grow-it-yourself mycelium mix she uses in her designs, to host workshops (including one this reporter attended last year) on how to work with mycelium to mold your own objects.
Now Trofe and Ecovative have teamed up to combine her lighting and educational projects in one package. It’s called Grow, and it’s essentially a do-it-yourself spin on Trofe’s MushLume lamps. Customers receive the lighting fixture and the materials to create a own mushroom-derived lampshade. Trofe launched a Kickstarter campaign for the product on Wednesday. Pledge $65 to receive a complete kit, if the campaign is sucessful. (There are also a limited number of discounted kits available, at $55, under an early-bird special.)
As Trofe told us last year, one motivation behind her work is figuring out unique ways to combine art and science. That interest is evident in the Grow Kickstarter campaign, which invites backers to seize the chance to “become the biodesigner.” At the very least, it’s a novel entry point into the world of makers.