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月球靴与生物材料:火星探索可能引发的人类设计革命

更新时间:2018/11/26 20:37:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How fungus and sweat could transform Martian exploration
月球靴与生物材料:火星探索可能引发的人类设计革命

In 2016, designer Liz Ciokajlo received a commission from the Museum of Modern Art (Moma) in New York: revisit the Moon Boot, a fluffy-looking snowshoe inspired by the footwear used by the Apollo astronauts.

2016年,设计师乔卡吉洛(Liz Ciokajlo)收到纽约现代艺术博物馆(Moma)的委托:重新设计受到阿波罗宇航员太空鞋启发的蓬松雪地鞋——月球靴(Moon Boot)。

Launched in 1972 at the height of the lunar missions, the Moon Boot is an icon of the 20th Century’s ‘plastic age’ and the museum curators wanted a new take on it.

月球靴于1972年登月行动的巅峰时期推出,是20世纪“塑料时代”的标志,而博物馆馆长也希望对此做一些新尝试。

Ciokajlo set out to reimagine it. She knew only a biomaterial would work in a post-plastic age, but the designer also wanted a new destination to inspire it. Our generation’s space travel obsession is not the Moon, she thought, but the red planet - Mars. And Mars allows you to really think outside of the box.

乔卡吉洛开始重新构思。她知道,只有一种生物材料可以在后塑料时代起作用,但也想要一个新的目的地为设计带来灵感。她想到,我们这一代人对太空之旅的向往已不是月球,而是红色星球火星。火星能让你真正摆脱条条框框的束缚,自由思考。

“Mars has always been a place where you can dream,” Ciokajlo says. “It is a place where you can reimagine how to live on Earth.”

乔卡吉洛说:“火星一直是一个你可以做梦的地方。在那里你可以重新构思如何在地球上生活。”

The commission lead her to a wondrous biomaterial that had already attracted the attention of engineers innovating in building materials and of top space agencies like Nasa and the European Space Agency (Esa). Her final design, a tall, female, rough-looking boot, can be manufactured on board a spaceship with almost only human sweat and a few fungus spores, ideal for a seven-month trip to Mars with limited check-in luggage.

这次的委托让她认识了一种神奇的生物材料。这种材料已经引起了多方注意,包括从事建筑材料创新的工程师以及美国国家航空航天局(NASA)、欧洲航天局(ESA)这样的顶级航天机构。她的最终设计是一双外观粗糙的高桶女士长靴,可以在太空船上制作,原料几乎只需人类的汗液和一些真菌孢子,很适合随身携带物品非常受限的七个月火星之旅。

This magic biomaterial is mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus. If you imagine that mushrooms are the ‘fruits’ of the fungus, mycelium could be regarded as its roots or stems. It looks like a mass of white thread-like structures, each called hyphae, which crisscross soil and other material in which fungi grows. Collectively, these threads are called mycelium and are the largest part of the fungus.

这种神奇的生物材料就是菌丝体,是真菌的生长部分。如果你把蘑菇想作是真菌的“果实”,那么菌丝体可以看作是真菌的根或茎。菌丝体看起来就像一团白线,每一条白线就是菌丝,它在真菌生存的土壤和其它物质上穿横交错。这些线形物质整体被称为菌丝体,是真菌的最大组成部分。

Mycelium has amazing properties. It is a great recycler, as it feeds off a substrate (like sawdust or agricultural waste) to create more material, and has the potential of almost limitless growth in the right conditions. It can endure more pressure than conventional concrete without breaking, is a known insulator and fire-retardant and could even provide radiation protection on space missions.

菌丝体有着惊人的特性。它从基质(如木屑或农业废料)中吸收养分,长出更多菌丝,有着出色的回收功能。而且在合适的条件下,菌丝体有几乎无限增长的潜力。它可以比传统水泥承受更大的压力而不会断裂,是一种已知的绝缘体和阻燃剂,甚至可以为太空任务提供防辐射保护。

On Earth it’s currently used to create ceiling panels, leather, packaging materials and building materials, but in outer space it stands out for its architectural potential, says artist and engineer Maurizio Montalti, who has teamed up with Ciokajlo.

和乔卡吉洛合作的艺术家兼工程师蒙塔尔提(Maurizio Montalti)表示,在地球上,菌丝体目前用于制造天花板、皮革、包装材料和建筑材料。但在外太空,它的建筑制造潜力更为突出。 

“You rely on the cells capacity to replicate themselves, thus creating more material in short time,” says Montalti.

蒙塔尔提说:“人类可以依赖真菌细胞的自我复制能力,在短时间内制造更多的材料。”

For her revisited boot, Ciokajlo wanted to use the human body as the source for some of the building materials and decided to employ sweat. Reusing perspiration is not entirely new in space exploration (the International Space Station currently reuses astronauts’ urine and sweat for drinkable water) but a novelty approach for footwear. She thinks it might make astronauts feel closer to home during the long journey to Mars.

乔卡吉洛重新设计这双靴子时,希望部分制作材料来自人体,并最终决定使用汗液。在太空探索中重复利用汗液并不完全是创新之举(国际空间站目前就在回收宇航员的尿液和汗液,经处理后作为饮用水),但用于鞋履则非常新颖。她认为,这样做可能会让宇航员在长途火星之旅中感觉离家并不远。

Mycelium’s adventures in space go beyond material innovation. As she researched the commission, Ciokajlo came across a feminist novel from 1893 that imagined Mars as a planet where gender roles reversed – which is why their creation is a boot for women. The novel propelled her to imagine a new society where biomaterials provide a new way to interact with our surroundings. Even the boot’s name, Caskia, comes from the novel: it is the planet’s only region with equal standing between men and women.

菌丝体的太空历险并不限于材料上的创新。乔卡吉洛为此次委托作研究时,发现了一本1893年女权主义小说。小说中的火星是一个性别角色倒转的星球,这也是为什么乔卡吉洛的作品是女靴。这本小说促使她想象了一个新的社会,人们借助生物材料与环境互动,是一种全新互动的方法。即便是这双靴子的名字卡斯奇亚(Caskia)也源自这本小说:卡斯奇亚是这个星球上唯一一个男女地位平等的地区。

The design is still hypothetical, because the real boot submitted for Moma – and currently in display at the London Design Museum – did use mycelium but not human sweat, as their deadline was too tight, but the science checks out.

该设计仍然处在假设阶段。由于截止日期时间紧张,交付给现代艺术博物馆的靴子只使用了菌丝体,实际并没有使用人类汗液,但这项技术是切实可行的。这双靴子目前在伦敦设计博物馆(London Design Museum)展出。

Mycelium materials can take shape in several ways. If you have solid waste (like sawdust), you want to sterilise it and add the fungus so its spread can start. By incubating it in controlled conditions for temperature and humidity, the white veiny hyphae would compact to create a fibrous solid material. This is how Nasa and Esa hope to use mycelium for their Mars bases.

菌丝体材料可以通过多种方式获得。如果你有固体废料(比如锯木屑),可以消毒后添加真菌,让其生长。在控制温度和湿度的环境下,真菌生出的白色脉络状菌丝将紧密生长,成为纤维状固体材料。美国航空航天局和欧洲航天局正是希望利用这种方法将菌丝体用于其火星基地。

For Caskia, a special type of fungus (there are more than five million species) would feed off the nutrients diluted in human sweat after it is filtered for impurities. The ‘wet material’, as Montalti calls it, would be shaped with a mould directly around the astronaut’s feet and kept fed by sweat production.

地球上有500多万种真菌,对于这双名为卡斯奇亚的靴子而言,其中一种特殊的真菌可以吸收人体汗液在过滤杂质后剩下的营养物质。这种蒙塔尔提所称的"潮湿材料"可直接用包裹宇航员脚部的模具塑型,并依靠汗液不断获取养分。

In both methods, the fungus growth can be stopped by heating to up to 70 or 80C (F), which means either using an oven on Earth or exposing the culture to high temperatures on Mars or outer space.

可以使用两种方法经加热至70或80度而终止真菌的生长,一种是使用地球上的烤箱,一种是将真菌暴露在火星或者外太空的极高温度下。

The substrate would possibly need an additional nutritional supplement to promote its growth, acknowledges Moltalti, but it is rooted in current mycelium science. The boot they created for MoMA used a special diluted formula.

蒙塔尔提承认,菌丝基底可能需要额外的营养补充以促进其生长,但它的原理还是植根于目前的菌丝科学。他们为现代艺术博物馆制作的靴子用了特殊的稀释配方。

“For each of our cultural inspirations you could find scientists that back this up,” says Ciokajlo.

乔卡吉洛说:“我们的每一个文化灵感都能找到支持这一观点的科学家。”

The European Space Agency (Esa) is likewise pushing boundaries with mycelium. In a joint project with Montalti and the University of Utrecht, the agency is exploring whether fungi could be used to grow buildings, like labs and other facilities, in space.

欧洲航天局也在不断挖掘菌丝体的发展潜能。欧洲航天局在与蒙塔尔提和和乌得勒支大学(University of Utrecht)联合开展的项目中,正在探索是否可在太空用真菌打造建筑,例如太空中的实验室和其它设施。

Launching from Earth with a fully formed Mars facility is expensive, with payload prices ranging at $10,000 (£7,700) per pound. Mining in Mars is also problematic and costly. Add that to the ever-present question of how to manage waste in space, and mycelium’s ability to decompose and recycle starts to look very promising.

从地球发射完全建好的火星用设施非常昂贵,荷载价格可达每磅1万美元(7700英镑)。在火星进行开采工作也价格昂贵,并会面临重重困难,此外还要面对一直存在的如何处理太空垃圾的问题。菌丝体能够对物质进行分解回收,看起来是个尤为可行的解决方案。

The team had provisional results in October and Montalti says they are encouraging (Esa is still double-checking them, so they are not yet public). The engineer dreams about combining mycelium with 3D printing or even genetic manipulation to have more options.

团队在10月取得了一定成果,而蒙塔尔提表示这些成果振奋人心(欧洲航天局正在核实这些成果,因此暂未公布)。这些工程师们梦想将菌丝体和3D打印甚至是基因操控相结合,以获得更多的选择。

On the other side of the Atlantic, Nasa is also examining whether their Mars missions could grow surface structures on the planet itself. The Americans are considering producing on Earth a flexible plastic shell seeded with mycelium and then activating the fungal growth once in Mars. That way a thin film can become thick roof or walls in a matter of days or weeks. The building could be malleable: fungus growth stops when their feedstock is consumed, their ideal temperature is withdrawn or the mycelia is killed via heat, yet the dormant fungi can be reactivated into growth, if repairs are needed.

在大西洋的另一边,美国国家航空航天局也在检验是否可以在火星上种出建筑的表层结构。美国人正在考虑在地球上做好一个植有菌丝体的弹性塑料外壳,等待登陆火星后激活真菌生长。用这种方法,一层薄薄的菌丝可以在几天或几周内变成厚实的屋顶或墙体。菌丝制成的建筑还可能具有可塑性:真菌所需的养分耗尽、温度不适宜或菌丝体在高温下被杀死,真菌就会停止生长。然而如果需要进行修复工作,可以重新激活处于休眠状态的真菌,使其进入生长状态。

One of the most appealing aspects of mycelium in relation to space architecture is the capacity of certain fungi to express melanin, a biomolecule that can shield humans from cosmic radiation. Montalti and ESA tested this property as part of their project.

在太空建筑领域,菌丝体最吸引人的特质在于可以生成黑色素,进而保护人类免受宇宙射线的辐射。蒙塔尔提和欧洲航天局在他们的研究项目中测试了真菌这一特性。

On our planet, many projects have used mycelium as a structural component. For instance, a collaboration between the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) used 3D printing to create a branching structure that can support a roof.

在地球上,已有许多项目使用菌丝体制造建筑的组成部分。例如:卡尔斯鲁厄理工学院(Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)和苏黎世联邦理工学院(Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)曾合作使用3D打印制造可以支撑屋顶的树枝状结构。

For many, mycelium provides a golden example of circular economy. Waste comes in as input for the mycelium and the resulting material is potentially biodegradable, just like wood.

对许多人而言,菌丝体为循环使用经济提供了一个绝佳范本。废料可用作菌丝体的养料来源,而且制出的材料也具生物分解可能性,就像木材一样。

“Currently our materials come from extraction,” says architect Adi Reza Nugroho, from the Indonesian firm MycoTech that provided the mycelium for ETH and KIT. “Now we want to have a closed-loop cycle.”

为苏黎世联邦理工学院和卡尔斯鲁厄理工学院提供菌丝体的印尼公司迈克科技(MycoTech)的建筑师瑞加(Adi Reza)表示:“目前我们的菌丝体是通过提取获得。现在我们希望形成一个封闭的可循环使用的技术。”

If Nasa and Esa’s experiments are successful, a small group of fungus spores could provide the starting point for a living, natural settlement on Mars. From a handful of spores, they could replicate and find dozens of uses for astronauts walking around the red planet.

如果美国国家航空航天局和欧洲航天局的实验成功,那么少量的真菌孢子就可以为在火星上创造适宜生存的自然环境提供一个起点。只需要少量孢子,真菌就可以复制生长,并为在红色星球上行走的宇航员提供数十种用武之地。

And if Ciokajlo and Montalti have it their way, and these humans can spare a bit of their sweat, even the shoes on their feet will start life as a fungus.

而且,如果乔卡吉洛和蒙塔尔提能按照自己的方法推进,穿鞋的人也愿意提供一点自己的汗液,那么即便是脚上的鞋子也可以以真菌的形式开启自己的一生。

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