Post-Presentation Update

So I have been letting this project stew. It was a hellish week of work to get it to the point it was displayed. Essentially I got swept into the new semester with a load of new projects. A friend once told me that a finished painting is only halfway. The opposite must being the same, a halfway finished painting is – arguably – finished. Currently:


Here it sits in my studio with flat wheels as I shuffle it around in attempts to finally make myself see this project through to completion. It is truly only halfway. I have a lighting system in mind with pieces being delivered tomorrow. My design process is fluid as I solve problems and other ones float into view.

I decided to post my final presentation below. I gave the presentation before I displayed the in progress trailer this December. Afterwards I went on a break from school and making. ——————————————————————>


Here’s my final_presentation_johagan 🙂



After a long day of presentations and seeing how everyones projects turned out, I have completed what I can for this project. I hope to continue pimping out this structure piece by piece. I have lights already in my possession and a few miniature water pumps to eventually create a closed loop “tank” with which to grow.



After conversing with a few of my teachers I realized that the structural aspects of growing materials is the main part of my research that I have fallen in love with. The problem is, I don’t have a good enviornment to grow what I need to. This has given me the idea to build a greenhouse. So far designs are in the process and the structure has a vague idea. Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 3.08.05 AM.png

Unknown.jpegThis structure is pegged to be a bike trailer that hitches onto my own bicycle so that it is a mobile and malleable structure. I have no car and this will hopefully fix the problem once and for all. I’m excited to fill this will topsoil and see what happens. Who knows how far I can take this. I think I see a lot of potential to work with my classmates and combine our projects.


The mushroom. Jumping off of suggestions from Ryan, I have begun growing mushrooms to see what I can do as far as structure. Reading into Paul Stamets I have become fascinated by the abilities of these mycelium and their networks.img10c.jpgIMG_5407.jpg

This batch was started with leftover coffee grounds and while this is the beginning of the experiments this test group seems to be chugging along. IMG_5406.jpg

Theses are the other boxes that will be the main starters to see what happens. So far the boxes have been going for about two weeks and the right side box has been showing far more growth than the left. There is promise with both so we’ll see how they turn out.


A chronic issue as far as recycling goes, this material breaks down to a fraction of it’s size when exposed to acetone. The acetone de-airates the foam creating styrene which slowly solidifies into a hard brittle plastic. I’ve done some experiments with varying results but have not been able to create the “brick” I’ve been going for. The problem is occurring in how fast the surface dries which creates a hard brittle coating that stops the interior from drying out.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 4.24.10 PM.png

This is an example of the styrene composite that is still in it’s gel form. Unrecognizable from the image, this behaves like silly putty but smells like straight acetone. When pulled apart it becomes stringy which I think is a testament to the interior structure. Because drying out have been the major issue I decided to try mixing the gel with sawdust to see if some of the moisture could be absorbed.



Searching for bioplastic granules has been difficult. I’m basing my research off of DieFabriek’s method of using and extruding the granules into a fiberglass-y substrate. This look and process took me away and  after contacting them it seems as though their source is classified and probably somewhere in the Netherlands. I will keep looking for local (this country) manufacturers but in the meantime I have tried to make my own.


This example is very flimsy and even after waiting multiple days for it to dry it still resembles solidified mashed potatoes. Onwards and upwards.