Created from living, organic material, Danielle Trofe’s new Mush-Lume lamp seeks to take sustainable design to the masses. The shade, made with an innovative mushroom technology that utilizes agricultural by-products, is a stylish solution that avoids adding more artificial plastic to the waste stream.
The Brooklyn-based designer, who has previously experimented with vertical hydroponics and solar power, came upon Ecovative Design’s mushroom product during materials research. The sustainable, organic, and biodegradable material is made from seed husks, corn stalks, and mushroom mycelium, which becomes a binding agent that holds everything together. For the Mush-Lume shades, the material is packed in molds, grown for four to seven days, then heated in an oven to stop growth. It’s then added to the lamp base, made from hand-turned wood and concrete.
"For me it’s a huge deal," says Trofe. "It’s the future of the furniture and lighting industry. It won’t biodegrade when it’s in your living room. But when you break it up and compost it, you add nutrients to the soil."
Trofe plans to debut the lamp, as well as other products made from Ecovative material, such as planters, at the WantedDesign showcase during NYC's design week (May 16-18). She’s looking for a manufacturer to help expand production. While she’s not the first to experiment with this material, she’s aiming to be the first to tackle issues of supply and demand and make sustainable products affordable and scalable.
"I want to create products that aren’t out of reach," she says.
During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.