Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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Sound-absorbing mycelium panels from Mogu

Italian biodesign firm Mogu has teamed up with Arup to develop Foresta: a versatile biodegradable acoustic panel system.

18/01/2023 2 min read

A collaboration between biodesigners Mogu and design and engineering firm Arup, Foresta combines the refined aesthetics of wood with innovative mycelium materials.

Foresta is 99% bio-based and biodegradable and can be fully disassembled at the end of the product life cycle, to support regenerative recycling.

The Foresta system is composed of acoustic panels made of mycelium – the vegetative part of a fungus. Each module is grown by mushroom cultures on a substrate of agricultural waste materials such as hemp chives and textile residue and supported on a frame of regional beech wood. After a final heat treatment, the material becomes a durable bio-composite with proven sound-absorbing properties.

The timber frame supporting the panels is designed to be mechanically fixed to the wall, drilling as few holes as possible. With magnets integrated in each node, the acoustic panels can be easily mounted onto the branches, allowing for maximum design flexibility and any future change of layout.

The system is customisable in a range of colours inspired by nature – organised into five palettes of Green Wood, Blue River, Pink Clay, Brown Grove and Grey Stone.

“In the built environment, we need to be working with nature, not against it,” comments Arup’s Jan Wurm, Research & Innovation Leader for Europe. “The Foresta system supports businesses to transition towards a circular economy and away from the “take-make-waste” way of operating. This system enables the sustainable reconfiguring of offices to become beautiful collaborative and performative workspaces.

“Crucially, it also helps show a way forward in the move towards using more sustainable materials in the construction industry, a sector which is a major contributor to global CO2 emissions, and which urgently needs to change.”

“The product takes another step forward in our mission of bringing nature back into everyday living environments – combining the radically different aesthetics of Mogu acoustic panels with the warmth of a material, wood, that accompanies mankind from the start,” adds Serena Camere, Head of Products at Mogu.

“It is a beautifully designed and rational system, which largely simplifies the installation of mycelium-based acoustic panels. Its modularity and design flexibility – with the extra added value of a variety of colours to choose from – make it an amazing product to support every interior design project, and particularly the design of future office spaces.”

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