Welcome to the Royal College of Fungi
Biomimicry art project called the Royal College of Fungi. The ‘RCF’ is an active, multi-faceted research project that compares social systems to fungi systems to understand what we can learn from nature tore-think and create sustainable modes of living, working and learning. Working as ‘mockstitution’, as used in Gregory Sholette’s Dark Matter, the RCF mimics institutional structures, while letting them being infiltrated and shaped by natural processes, to critique and reinvent them. The core subjects offered by the RCF are growth, interaction, and regeneration.
We are a university that has replaced the hierarchy structure of ‘normal’ education by committing our university model to the mycorrhizal network. We believe that by observing fungi and understanding its wondrous networks, we can reflect upon our own mindsets, in particularly education process, and find ways to deconstruct/reconstruct education systems through using fungi as a biomimicry focus. The fungi that we have based our research and our university model on is the oyster mushroom. The oyster mushroom or the ‘Pleurotus ostreatus’ in latin, is a common edible fungus that is known and loved by many. However, this is just the fruit of a far greater body, the fruit of an organism which stretches off underground into the dark kingdom of the soil. Reaching deep into the soil fungi can access deposits of minerals that were out of reach for other life, by breaking them down to their simplest forms fungi are able to move the minerals through their roots ‘hypae’
across the network to repurpose them. Here is the dilemma... Fungi can dig deep in the darkness , however, require sugars from sunlight, trees can climb very high towards the sun but can’t dig as deep in the soil. What fungi did to solve this problem is known as mycorrhizal networking is to wrap around the roots of the tree and attach itself, and in doing so creates an exchange of its minerals and nutrients for the trees sugars.. Therefore, one fungi can connect to more than one tree at a time, more than one species of tree and more than one species of plant, it creates a network with the whole ecosystem and mediates communication and share of nutrients between itself and an organism, or even between two different organisms through its network, this is known as the WoodWideWeb.
So this is the introduction into why we base our university on Fungi. We see the body of information being education itself, a network rich and deep in information and knowledge, and we see its students like trees who feed into the network, exchanging an growing symbiotically. This growth and freeform of information exchange creates a structure which replaces the hierarchical structure by a more organic and intuitive system, one where all entities are met ethically and play a fundamental role in the dynamic and growth of the ecosystem, which is in the vision of the RCF, education.