Rencontre avec : Dahlia Subasi

Dahlia Subasi studied science and medicine before devoting herself to architecture and design. Today, she combines her scientific knowledge with her love of beauty to make eco-responsible objects out of mushroom mycelium and natural materials. Meeting with a designer committed to the fight for environmental protection.

Muuuz: How was your multidisciplinary career developed?
Dahlia Subasi: Since childhood, I have always had a very creative side and a much more scientific side. I first chose to study medicine for their human and social dimension, but the lack of creativity in this area quickly made me realize that this was not the path I had to follow. After four years of medicine, I decided to study architecture in an art school, Central Saint Martins in London, where I was finally fulfilled. It only remained for me to combine these two skills.

How did you come to think about eco-design?
I've always been interested in innovations, so I've read a lot about it. The search for new materials, and in particular those sensitive to the environment, fascinates me. I find it fascinating.

How were your “Teşekkül” objects made from mycelium and natural materials born?
I absolutely wanted to find a way to combine my scientific knowledge acquired in medicine with the fields of architecture and design. I did a lot of research on the mycelium and fell in love with it. I started to experiment with several species of fungi to grow mycelium. Then, I built molds to give shape to my creations and I tested the limits of this interesting material. There are still so many ideas I would like to explore.

What are the challenges of these creations?
The mycelium is a living organism. In order for it to grow, the ideal conditions must be met. Sometimes I find mold in my crops which is caused by germ contamination. To cultivate the mycelium, it also takes a lot of patience. The mycelium takes time to grow. If it is contaminated, everything has to be started again. This is where the challenge of my project lies. As I am quite impatient and impulsive, this work teaches me to be tolerant and forgiving with myself, as well as to reflect on my mistakes.

What do you think ecology means today?
Ecology should be included in our way of thinking and seeing things. It is a very complex subject. There are many parameters to consider. As far as I am concerned, I am mainly interested in creating materials that respect the environment and follow the rules of a circular economy. However, using local and organic materials is not enough to create ecological objects.

What do you expect from tomorrow's design?
I would like to see surprising and unexpected concepts. Something that impresses us while having more sensitivity for the environment and research. Being drawn to the materials and their history, I can't wait to see the surprises that design will offer us in the future. Design and architecture have long focused on visual pleasure. I would especially like to be surprised at the touch now. Just like the designs created from mycelium which seem to be so fragile but which are in fact very solid. What fascinated me the most with the mixture of mycelium and natural materials, it is the meeting of lightness with solidity. It is something that can only be understood when touched. The reaction of people, who are confronted with it for the first time, always makes me smile.

To know more, visit et Dahlia Subasi's Instagram account.

Visuals: © Dahlia Subasi

Léa Pagnier

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