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Material Incubator

Powered by Caradt, MNEXT and Delft University of Technology

Living Gold, Goldsmithing with Mycelium

A Caradt SAD Research Project

Project Leader(s):

Research Professor(s):

Dr. Michel van Dartel, Professor Situated Art & Design

Dr. Alwin de Rooij, Associate Professor Situated Art & Design

Project Partner(s):

Maarten Versteeg from industry partner Brech


Project Period

June 2023 – June 2024

Research Group Situated Art and Design

Living in cities developed around data and acting within the inscrutable structure of our techno-society demands art and design that can help understand how we relate to these rapidly changing surroundings and to reflect on that relationship. The research group Situated Art and Design responds to this exigency by fostering a situated turn in art and design through a diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects in partnership with academic and cultural partners, as well as with government and industry.


The research project “Living Gold” explores the application of mycelium material in goldsmithing, igniting inspiration and promoting new possibilities for bio-based design. Mycelium, nature’s hidden architect, holds immense potential for creativity and environmental consciousness. By tapping into this abundant resource, we reshape the boundaries of jewellery creation.

Mycelium is an excellent material for product design due to its versatility, sustainability, and unique properties. It is renewable, biobased, and can be moulded into various shapes. Its strength, lightweight nature and ability to be grown in desired forms make it ideal for innovative and eco-friendly product designs. Unfortunately, the qualities and applications of mycelium material are not universally known. By implementing mycelium material in goldsmithing each piece becomes a testament to the beauty and elegance found within our symbiotic relationship with the environment.

Jewellery has long held anthropological importance, representing personal expression, milestones, status, culture and beauty. By incorporating mycelium into goldsmithing, we infuse jewellery with a deeper connection to nature. Celebrating the wonders of nature with every gleaming creation.

Researcher Simone van den Broek will be exploring two methods for incorporating mycelium material in goldsmithing. The fist method will explore the possibilities of using mycelium material in the way that gemstones traditionally are set into a piece of precious metal. The second method will utilise the growing capabilities of mycelium by growing it directly onto a jewellery design. By documenting the process from mycelium inoculation to a wearable jewellery design, we embark on a transformative journey where we reshape the way we view mycelium one enchanting piece of jewellery at a time.

AI generated concept art for Mycelium jewellery