Digital Bio Systems // VELARIUM

A canopy made of mushroom

The Objective:

To design a 500mm X 80mm X 1000mm bifurcated column to understand the structural strength of column made by mycellium.


Two projects inspired our project. The first research we did was about the firm Blanc De Gris, Montreal, Canada. Starting with a compost substrate made of a range of materials , the two co-founders pasteurize the mix before adding the oyster mushroom mycelia, then mix everything in white kettles placed inside grow rooms. Four or five weeks later, mushrooms grow & ready for harvesting. Second one was by Italian architect Carlo Ratti who has grown a series of arched architectural structures from mushroom mycelium, which will be returned to the soil after Milan design week is over, in a fully circular fashion. The project took inspiration from Antoni Gaudi’s “inverted catenary” method employed on the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. According to this method, the compression structure finds its form using suspended catenaries, which are then inverted.





L System Branching :

The branching type used for our bifurcating system was the L-system. Recursion allows our branching to grow self-symmetrically, from a simple bisect into a more complex fractal branching system. “Lindenmayer systems are also popular in the generation of artificial life.” This is the seed to our design concept. A progression from organic to man-made… the transformation or replication of logic taken from nature and re-used in a man-made construction method.

3D Model Prototype :

Process :


Design Proposal :

VELARIUM is a project developed at IAAC, as part of the
Digital Bio Systems Seminar, for Master of Advanced Architecture.
Students:   Neel Prajapati, Jitendra Farkade , Alaa Al Baroudi
Faculty: Chiara Farinea – Mohamad El Atab
Teaching assistants: Federica Ciccone – Nusrat Tabassum