Houses of the future will certainly see some exciting new material components, but few would have expected mushrooms could be the building blocks of tomorrow.

Students from the Philadelphia University in the US have created a chair and hanging light fixtures from the roots of mushrooms; known as mycelium.

The new prototypes follow the work of activist and author Gunter Pauli, who developed the cultivation technique also using coffee and agricultural waste.

The fungal furniture is the result of a broader project to rediscover living materials for construction, to try to end the inefficiency of synthetic material manufacture. It is similar to the BioCulture project of British designer Suzanne Lee, who famously engineered ‘vegetable leather’ from green tea, yeast and microbes.

Prefabricated bricks of sawdust, woodchips and other agricultural waste were imbued with cells from the fast-growing oyster mushrooms. The chair and light fittings were kept moist and slowly moulded into shape as the mushroom proceeded to grow. The lights and chair were baked when they reached their appropriate size to harden them for home-use.

According to proponents of the mushrooming ‘mycotecture’ movement; the future of green interior design could soon have us all sitting on toadstools and drinking from fungi cups, while saving money on wasteful manufacture.