Emoti-bricks: Market Street Prototyping Festival Installation

Date Posted: 03.25.2015

On April 9th, 10th, and 11th, a collaborative team with members from Mithun and MycoWorks, will contribute to the Market Street Prototyping Festival. The installation, called Emoti-bricks, is a system of three walls of spinning mycelium bricks painted with stenciled glyphs.

This installation comments on the realization that society has come full-circle, starting with petroglyphs predating modern text, and now reintroducing pictorial communication in the form of emoticons and Emojis™. Bringing this conversation to Fox Plaza on Market Street, the backbone of San Francisco, the install is at the epicenter of the tech-start up and social media boom. Located across the street from the headquarters of Twitter, the Emoti-bricks echo today’s of super-quick, super-brief, global communication.

Mycelium is a material that is both ancient and modern: the mushroom. MycoWorks has been experimenting with mycelium, the vegetative part of mushrooms, as a building material and more for more than 20 years. As bricks, the mycelium (which can grow into a vast network when left untamed) is highly resilient and very sustainable. Described as “Earth’s natural internet”, mycelium has the ability to communicate through the fungal network.

Emoti-bricks are both analog and interactive. In a location that is a confluence of people from all walks of life, this interactive installation invites passers-by to express themselves by spinning the mycelium bricks to arrange the stenciled glyphs into unique wordless sentences.