Say goodbye to plastic / aluminum headphones, and hello to fungus. Design studio Aivan unveiled Korvaa, the world’s first headphones made from microbial-grown materials. The studio created two versions of the Korvaa headphones, with each consisting of six microbe-grown components with different properties: enzymatically produced, lignin-free cellulose; 3D-printed biodegradable microbial bioplastic PLA for the frame; a leather-like fungal mycelium for the soft foam inside the headset; biosynthetic spider silk for the mesh inside the earphone; and protein foam with plant cellulose. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
The headphones were created by teams from Aivan, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and Aalto University. Want a pair? Unfortunately, they’re still in the prototype stage, and don’t yet contain any of the electronics needed for audio playback to happen.
“We’re looking at these different materials and their properties, trying to figure out how to use them, and what to make out of them — as opposed to designing an item and then figuring out what materials we want to use. Process-wise, it’s almost like something out of the stone age. It sets this particular project apart from any other contemporary, wearable-tech project,” said Aivan product designers Saku Sysiö and Thomas Tallqvist.