tobias revell: power generating mushrooms in mumbai
tobias revell: power generating mushrooms in mumbai
jul 18, 2012

tobias revell: power generating mushrooms in mumbai

‘new mumbai’ by tobias revell

tobias revell, a british interaction designer, has documented the dharavi slums of mumbai, india, showcasing how genetically modified mushrooms have revitalized the poverty stricken city in the ‘new mumbai’ of the future. originally from amsterdam, highly experimental biotechnological samples had been stolen from a dutch lab, where the fungi had been re-engineered to exponentially grow in size for use as narcotics and to create a micro-economy based off the material. as the new plant became introduced into the overpopulated but highly educated urban mass of the slums, the locals began to use it to their advantage – to both exercise freedom from the state and to provide suitable living conditions. today, the mushroom is used to harvest energy as well as provide providing heat, light and building material for the residents of the slums of dharavi.

tobias revell: power generating mushrooms in mumbai harvesting of the mushroom on city buildings

tobias revell: power generating mushrooms in mumbai harvesting energy from the mushroom on top of a building

‘new mumbai’ ‘documentary’

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • fake? obviously the pictures a retouched but the idea is awesome

    Marlo says:
  • fake

    Guest says:
  • fiction?

    longoeu says:
  • is this real??

    Emily says:
  • Checked with forensics software, Images are morphed.

    Duh Photoshop work 🙁

    Catchme says:
  • The video is hilarious. This is a great idea.

    Ray says:
  • okay. this project is great.
    but can I just say there is something seriously wrong with the world– whether it’s the education system or the people despite it– when there is an actual question among people whether this is real. same with those genetically modified sting ray shoes a few months ago.


    in case you still need help, maybe read the abstract or the first sentence of the article, or see his other work, or SOMETHING.

    zeitgeist says:
  • just curious as to why one image appears to be from china?

    justsaying says:
  • haha, this reminds of District 9.

    mike says:
  • To Zeitgeist –
    Couldn\’t agree more! I mean what with satellites gliding overhead and free software allowing anyone and their dog to view anywhere on the planet down to the resolution of a potted plant…pilot-less aircraft for attack or surveillance as small as a hummingbird, 3D printers, and food stock genetically modified to internally produce insecticides, which can be taken up by the consumer\’s intestinal flora or fauna and mutate to begin producing these same pesticides internally ad infinitum, or the strain of oyster mushrooms found to be able to decontaminate and remediate soils of petroleum and oil products/wastes courtesy of the brilliant work of Paul Stamets, or the fabulous idea of growing algae farms in the dead zones of seas contaminated with nitrogen fertilizer run off, re-oxygenating the water, kick-starting the food-chain again and creating a feed-stock for alcohol fuel production…this story is so obviously off the map, I mean what is with people?….

    eichelbug says:
  • Really the idea was awesome.It is very strange to see such type of images.

    Pesticides Journal says:
  • beautiful vision. i’m exactly into this type of utopistic future!

    staska says:
  • Its not china the image is actually of a back alley in HK which is not a developing country! well done Tobias!!

    orangeblowfish says:
  • am really worried that one day our space will be all taken by these kinds of objects.

    Ms.Lu says:
  • Well this is video’s opening shot from Pune! Not Mumbai.

    Pushkar says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

latest news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
503,281 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine