The BMW iX is the most sustainable BMW produced to date, not only because of its electric drivetrain but because of the circularity of our manufacturing processes. BMW MATERIA, The Garden of Possibilities celebrates this notion and the 300 mile range of the iX that in Los Angeles connects to various biomes; from ocean to forest to desert. Through BMW MATERIA we showcase these biomes: living organisms and sustainable material developments derived from nature. We believe in protecting our planet and are inspired by the potential it presents to our future.
Mycelium is the intricate, root-like structure of mushrooms that grows underground to deliver nutrients and communication. It grows in soil and can be grown in other substrates, such as hemp.100% COMPOSTABLE
Mycelium products are 100% plastic-free, 100% compostable and can grow to their final product in around a week! Rather than relying on petroleum for production, many mycelium products use local feedstock from crop waste to grow, which means the material can be grown anywhere.FLEXIBLE MATERIAL PLATFORM
Designers are using this fast-growing material to create everything from lampshades, leather, sustainable packaging alternatives, even meat. Architects are using the material to build organic bricks and acoustic panels.[ L E A R N M O R E ]
Paradise Packaging is based in Paradise, CA and is a licensee of Ecovative’s mycelium material technology and the main distributor of their Mushroom® Packaging products across the US.
Live fungiNATURE’S RECYCLER
Mushrooms decompose dead organic material such as wood and leaves, maintaining the nutrient cycle in their ecosystem. In contrast to plants, mushrooms don’t require sunlight to make energy.FROM FRUIT TO ROOT
A mushroom’s fruiting body has many food and health applications. Additionally, its root network, called mycelium, which is found in soil and other substrates, is being explored as a material from organic plastics to packaging.
Hemp fiber comes from cannabis plants.SIMILAR BUT BETTER
Hemp fiber is among the strongest and most durable natural textile fibers with similar properties to natural plant fibers in length, durability, strength, absorbency, mildew resistance and antimicrobial properties. Ten tons of hemp can be grown on 1 hectare of land in just 100 days, which makes it one of the best biomasses in the world.JACK OF ALL TRADES
Hemp is used in a range of material applications and industries to make apparel, rope, canvas, skin care products, building materials, paper, and food.
HempWood® is a wood substitute created by compressing hemp pulp fibers from cannabis plants, using protein-based bonding agents.SUPER SUSTAINABLE
Considered to have the smallest ecological footprint of any lumber alternative. HempWood® is 100 times faster to grow and 20 percent stronger than hard woods like Oak. Hemp grows within 120 days in versatile climates, doesn’t require herbicides, and removes CO2 from the atmosphere.SUPERIOR WOOD PROPERTIES
Companies are exploring the material not only for its structural properties but also acoustics. As a result, HempWood® is used for interiors, furniture, floors and in consumer products.
Fibonacci, LLC. based in Kentucky, sources its hemp within 100 miles of its headquarters (local production, lower carbon emissions) and uses various practices to be carbon negative; the use of hemp, hydropower and a bio burner, which converts their own waste into production energy.
Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree.ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY HARVESTING
Cork is completely biodegradable and renewable. The bark is obtained through an environmentally-friendly process where trees are not cut down. Instead, cork is harvested by hand every 9 years, allowing the bark to grow back and the tree can be expected to live for 200 years.SUPERIOR INSULATING PROPERTIES
Cork is an excellent building material with strong applications for interiors, as it is an excellent insulator of heat, sound and vibration. It is also very light, impermeable to liquids and gases, elastic, fire retardant and highly abrasion resistant.
Moss were the first plants to survive on solid ground, evolving from algae.AIR PURIFYING AND ANTIMICROBIAL
Moss contribute to healthy air, offsetting more carbon than all the trees in the world and grow 60 times faster than they are harvested. Moss also absorb other pollutants and toxins such as nitrogen and have antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, to produce sterile environments. Because of their purifying properties, moss have been harnessed for air pollution projects in urban areas around the world.
Compressed mossFUNCTIONAL WALLS
Harnessing their air purifying properties, when applied to interiors on substrates like wall paper, moss can store room humidity, slowly releasing it back into the surroundings to improve indoor climate.
OceanCARBON NEGATIVE POWERHOUSE
Spirulina is a blue green micro-algae found in alkaline lakes.AIR PURIFYING AND ANTIMICROBIAL
Algae collects CO2 and can sequester up to 20 times more carbon per acre than land forests.NATURAL COLORING
Many synthetic pigments are petroleum based and emit dangerous VOCs, which discharge harmful chemicals into our water and soil. This naturally occurring blue color is isolated from spirulina and can replace synthetic colorants found in food, cosmetics, and clothing. In addition to pigment, spirulina is a superfood. It is described as the single most nutritious food on the planet with many health benefits.[ L E A R N M O R E ]
Spira, based in CA, creates industrial ingredients using algae grown by a global network of farming partners for food, cosmetic and textile companies. Spira uses genetic engineering to produce carbon negative materials from algae, including the blue pigment in this exhibit. Spira’s goal is to replace harmful animal and petroleum compounds found in products.
Algae is a diverse group of photosynthetic aquatic organisms, ranging from micro unicellular forms to macro algae, such as kelp.REGENERATIVE POWERHOUSE
These ecosystems can grow up to 100 times faster than plants and trees, produce more oxygen and can sequester up to 20 times more carbon per acre than land-based forests.WIDE RANGING INNOVATION PLATFORM
Algae has exciting industrial applications including bioplastics, pigments, wellness, even electricity!
Bioluminescent dinoflagellates are tiny, plant-like marine microalgae.LIVING LIGHT
Dinoflagellates cause the surface of the ocean to sparkle at night. They light up through physical agitation.NATURE’S ALARM SYSTEM
These organisms use their light to ward off potential predators, as well as call attention to the predators of their predators.CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
Dinoflagellates photosynthesize during the day and produce a natural glow at night. They can be “programmed” to reverse their cycle by changing their exposure to light/darkness during their night and day hours.[ L E A R N M O R E ]
Pyrofarms is a San Diego-based group of citizen scientists that grow Dinoflagellates. A single PyroDino dinoflagellate cell was isolated off the coast of San Diego several years ago. From that one cell, PyroFarms has grown trillions of Dinoflagellates over the past couple of years.
Chitosan is a biopolymer obtained from the hard exoskeleton of shellfish as well as insects.REGENERATIVE AND ABUNDANT
Chitosan is the second most abundant compound and currently considered a waste product. Every year, 100 billion tons of chitin (its original compound) are produced in nature — 400 times more than plastic consumption. Bioplastic made from chitosan biodegrades within two weeks, while plastic takes more than 450 years.VERSATILE AND ANTIMICROBIAL
Chitosan has a range of applications including a variety of bioplastics and composites and has been explored in packaging materials. It also has antimicrobial properties that make it suitable for medical applications.[ L E A R N M O R E ]
Sasha Fishman is a sculptor and researcher based in Los Angeles. Working at the intersection of art and science, Sasha formulates sustainable sculpting materials ranging from cicada shell bioplastics to hagfish slime fiber sheets as alternatives to industrial petroleum based materials.
Agar is a biopolymer that originates from the cell walls of red algae (seaweed).SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION
Seaweed are among the fastest growing organisms on the planet. Some can grow nearly a meter a day. The availability of this resource could meet the global demand for plastic and help transition from fossil fuel-based plastics to bioplastics.100% COMPOSTABLE
Bioplastics like agar, made from kelp, could one day fully replace conventional plastics in the future.