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Hayes Pavilion 2023 6° – An investigation into mycelium as an alternative material for the creative industries

An investigation into the potential of mycelium as an alternative material for the creative industries.The project is led by Silver Hayes’s area organisers, Team Love, and designed by Simon Carroll from Temple Design Studio in association with Big Team CIC, Glastonbury Festival and manufacturer, Biohm & Grown Bio. It is also supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

In 2019, Simon Carroll from Temple Design Studio1 approached Team Love2 to discuss a potential new material to be used in festival builds, Mycelium Panels, a new regenerative material made out of the root network of fungi. The panels were made by London-based company Biohm and were originally intended to be used for building insulation.

Simon saw an opportunity to explore what similarities mycelium material could have with the materials used in creative set designs. The idea was born out of a desire from Simon Carroll to completely challenge what we use, how we work and the status quo of a throw away society and the creative industry. Most set designs rely on the use of cheap plastic polymer-based products or wood that require fossil fuel for extraction for production, depletion of natural resources and release of various CO2e emissions alongside the supply chain.

Like the rest of the world, in 2020, the pandemic put a halt to the discussions & project, but the idea grew. Finally at the end of 2022, Team Love & Temple Design Studio started the application funding process with the Arts Council of England to create a space at Silver Hayes, (Glastonbury Festival) showcasing the creative use of Mycelium panels in a festival setting. As mycelium feeds on agricultural waste, the utopian idea behind the project was to open up the possibility of using the waste from the farm to make mycelium panels used for the festival.

The aims of the projects were:

  • Use festivals as testing labs for new technologies and future-led innovations.
  • Challenge our use & perceptions of building materials.
  • Discuss the changes required for a green transition in creative roles e.g. innovation, sustainable qualification & a greener skill set.
  • Understand some of the environmental impact of using mycelium in festival settings.
  • Share knowledge & resources with a large network in the festival & creative industries.
  • Showcase a regenerative led future to wider audiences.