The mycelium is the vegetative network that forms the underground section of a fungus. It grows quickly, and stretches around any place that offers it space to grow. It is stringy. It is, as a network, sturdy.
It looks, in general, like this:
This summer, fungal mycelium will be brought—purposely—to an unusual environment: New York City. To, in particular, the courtyard of MoMA's outer-borough art and event space, P.S. 1, which each summer brings a new design to its outdoor pavilion. From that space, if all goes according to plan, will rise a tower constructed, almost entirely, of mycelium bricks. The structure—three twisted stacks that vaguely resemble merged y-chromosomes—will be a kind of proof-of-concept for fungal mycelium as a building material.
You could call this "mycotecture," as some have done ... but you could also just call it ultra-organic construction. The bricks for the P.S. 1 towers will be provided by the New York firm Evocative, which has pioneered the use of mycelium, Gizmodo points out—and not merely for building materials, but also for compostable packaging, insulation, and other products. Evocative's bricks are composed of fungal mycelium in addition to agricultural refuse like corn stocks. To make them, builders take a brick mold, fill them with the refuse, and then introduce the fungus. The mycelium grow until, after a few days, the mold has spread throughout the, er, mold—resulting in a sturdy building component.