Bob Hendrikx designs "living coffin" from mushroom mycelium
Made from mushroom mycelium, the Living Cocoon actively contributes to the body's composting process after death and simultaneously removes toxic substances from the earth – creating richer conditions for new plants to grow.
The boxy coffin takes one week to grow and then, containing the body of the deceased, takes an estimated two to three years to decompose. In comparison, conventional coffin burials take over ten years to break down in the earth.
Hendrikx, who is a researcher at the Delft University of Technology, hopes what he calls a "living coffin" can create a closed-loop system for disposing of the dead and repairing some of the damage done by humans to the earth.
"We are currently living in nature's graveyard," he said. "Our behaviour is not only parasitic, it's also short-sighted. We are degrading organisms into dead, polluting materials, but what if we kept them alive?"
"The Living Cocoon enables people to become one with nature again, and to enrich the soil instead of polluting it."