World’s first headphones made from fungus, spider silk, protein foam and more

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In Finland, headphones are no longer just made with plastic and metal, but now thanks to design studio Aivan, they are now made with microbially grown materials. Two versions of the headphones, called Korvaa, were made with a collaboration between Aivan designers, synbio scientists, industrial designers, artists and filmmakers, according to Inhabitat.

“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,” Aivan product designers Saku Sysiö and Thomas Tallqvist told Inhabitat. “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.”

“Each headset consists of six microbe-grown components with different properties: enzymatically produced, lignin-free cellulose; 3D-printed biodegradable microbial bioplastic PLA for the rigid headset frame; a leather-like fungal mycelium for the soft foam material inside the headset; biosynthetic spider silk for the mesh-like material inside the earphone; a composite of fungal mycelium and bacteria cellulose; and protein foam with plant cellulose” according to Inhabitat.