In a quest to reconnect human beings to nature while living in a highly urbanised environment, Valentina explores the possibility of mycelium and its surface applications.
Her project, Mychrome, is inspired by the analogy of aerial views of the world to microscope imagery.
Her visual inspiration is mycelium and road networks alongside microalgae and views of agricultural land from above.
Interrogating this imagery she aims to spark interest in the world at both microscopic and macroscopic levels.
Mycelium is the vegetative part of mushrooms and it has been used to bind agricultural waste and create new sustainable materials which are naturally fire retardant, insulating and sound-absorbing.
Experimenting with various substrates and fungi species, she researches to introduce colour a growing level while creating surfaces that are completely compostable at the end of their life span.
Utilising concepts stemming from circular economy, she focuses on designing with waste as well as using it as a pigment to dye and finish her materials.
As an application for her materials, she designed sound-absorbing tiles which are functional but have a very low impact on the environment.
Her materials could be applicable to a range of purposes from interiors to products and architecture.