Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • These might be the most groundbreaking headphones

  • of all time.

  • But not for the reasons you might expect.

  • We're not talking about audio capabilities

  • or Bluetooth functionality,

  • but rather what they're made of.

  • Fungus,

  • bacteria,

  • and yeast.

  • It turns out,

  • mushrooms and a whole lot of other microbes

  • can produce materials that rival plastics and even leather.

  • And there is a team of scientists

  • and designers in Finland doing just that.

  • So, how did they take such

  • unusual materials

  • and turn them into something that could seriously

  • shake up the world of product design?

  • Nina Pulkkis: The Korvaa project started

  • actually with frustration.

  • Narrator: That's Nina Pulkkis.

  • She's the one who started Korvaa,

  • this whole headphone project.

  • Pulkkis: I was filming for a documentary

  • about microbes and synthetic biology.

  • But I was really frustrated

  • because I didn't have very good samples

  • of what you can actually do with microbes.

  • Narrator: So she set out on a mission

  • to see what could be made with them.

  • She gathered a team of

  • scientists, researchers,

  • and designers to make it happen.

  • Pulkkis: So, first of all, we started to think,

  • what kind of a product should we make.

  • za Szilvay: There was an idea about making

  • a pair of headphones.

  • Narrator: Headphones worked for a couple of reasons.

  • First, they are an instantly recognizable product.

  • Everyone has them.

  • Second, they require lots of leathers

  • and different kinds of plastics,

  • and those aren't always sustainable materials.

  • That's because oil and natural gas are two

  • of the main raw materials used to make plastics.

  • And in 2017,

  • 368 million headphones were sold worldwide,

  • a number that's expected to keep growing.

  • That means a ton of plastic, leather,

  • and synthetic leathers, materials that rely heavily

  • on nonrenewable, nonbiodegradable resources.

  • Korvaa's process is a little different.

  • To start out, the headband is made of bioplastic.

  • To make that bioplastic, the team uses

  • plain old baker's yeast.

  • Through chemical processes, they turn that yeast

  • into a bioplastic substance.

  • That substance gets 3D-printed and hardened.

  • Next, the cushioned ear cups.

  • These are made from fungal proteins

  • and other plant-based materials grown in the lab.

  • Those materials get injected right into this mold.

  • And when they're dry, they look and feel just like foam.

  • Szilvay: Then the ear-cup covers are made

  • from fungal, leatherlike material.

  • It's made of mycelium.

  • One could think of it as root structure of mushrooms.

  • Merja Penttilä: Fungi grow in so-called

  • hyphal filamentous forms,

  • so they form long, long stretches.

  • So the material, in a way, grows itself.

  • Narrator: And those long stretches of roots

  • will take the shape of whatever you encourage them to.

  • The result?

  • Something similar to leather.

  • To make the inner mesh part,

  • the team created synthetic spider silk.

  • Spider silk is superstrong, lightweight, and elastic.

  • But spiders can't spin enough of it.

  • So they make silk in the lab,

  • without harming any eight-legged creatures.

  • By electro-spinning that silky material onto a flat surface,

  • they create a mesh material.

  • Then, all those parts get pieced together

  • to form a one-of-a-kind headset.

  • Manuel Arias Barrantes: I think people

  • have this perception

  • that fungi is something, like,

  • dangerous or, like, gross,

  • because it grows on food

  • also, that it's rotten.

  • But I think this is slowly changing as more

  • designers and companies are developing

  • materials from natural sources.

  • Saku Sysiö: For a lot of the

  • materials, we didn't know how to use them

  • and how to make them work in this project.

  • So that made it quite challenging and interesting.

  • Pulkkis: So it's really exciting to see

  • how this kind of small project grew

  • into something really much, much bigger

  • just by teaming up all kinds of different people

  • with different competencies

  • and completely different backgrounds.

  • Narrator: That team plans to commercialize

  • these unique materials so they can be used

  • in all sorts of products.

  • Would you wear these fungus headphones?

These might be the most groundbreaking headphones

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 narrator leather yeast synthetic fungus material

Headphones Made Of Fungus Could Change How We Use Plastic And Leather

  • 1 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/03
Video vocabulary