GIY Maker Spotlight: Iyvone Khoo

GIY Maker Spotlight: Iyvone Khoo

What is your background? 

Iyvone Khoo and Miguel Guzman

We have a background in fine art and theatre production with joint experience in event set design and prop making.


Give a brief explanation your project(s): 

We have built and exhibited two art installations with mycelium components for the Burning Man festival in Nevada. 

We are currently working on our third art installation for this event and will be using mycelium again.

We made a chair, grew several masks and sculptures with mycelium.

Mycelium Throne, 2022.

masks and sculptures

Were there any prior skills that you brought into this project with you? What techniques did you use for this project? 

We are both makers and designers of our art pieces.

As such we were able to experiment with different processes using Mycelium as a medium, from sculpting to mould making.

For each mycelium element of the pieces, we explored different ways of using mycelium.

We grew a chair sealed in fabric, we made plastic free ‘eco-molds’ to cast mycelium and learnt to use mycelium as sculpting material.

Paper shell support for latex mould   

How did you hear about GIY mycelium materials? 

As eco artists we have been working with recycled plastic. 

It is through our friends, we learned about the book Mycelium Running.
Mycelium as a sustainable material has been on our radar but the material was not easily accessible.
We waited nine years to have access to this material.

During one of our projects at Scripps Institute of Oceanography we were introduced to Andy who was working with bioluminescent algae as were we.

He subsequently went to work with Ecovative.

During a fateful conversation with him we found out about this sustainable material (mycelium) that Ecovative had been developing.

We took a leap of faith and pitched our project based on the GIY kits available.

How was it working with mycelium? What do you like most about the material?

It posed many challenges due to the nature of working with living organisms and their requirements for an ideal environment to thrive.

In particular, being able to control the cleanliness and temperature of the environment for the required amount of time.

The waiting time to see if the mycelium grows successfully is particularly unnerving until we see that it is taking ahold of the substrate.

The fact that mycelium is a biodegradable alternative to plastic is what we consider to be the most important aspect of this material. 

This maintains our interest and continues to lead our use of this material for future projects.



If you ran into any problems, what advice would you give someone if they ran into this issue?

Keep your work area as clean as possible and follow the growing guidelines. 

Take into account the time needed to grow your mycelium and plan for the ‘drying’ element of the process. 

Allow time to test on a smaller scale 

and experiment with the material.

Who would you recommend this GIY material to and why? 

We would recommend this material to makers in general that are looking for an eco-friendly alternative to polystyrene.

What do you have in the pipeline that you’re excited about?

We are soon to begin building our third Burning Man project which will definitely include mycelium components. We are also planning online demos for anyone who wants to learn more about sculpting with mycelium. 

Find us on our Instagram handles below:



Photo credit courtesy of Michaela Favara and Iyvone Khoo