Kathryn Fleming, ‘Gut Reactor: Seratonin Purplepore’, 2013, Chamber

Kathryn Fleming’s “Serotonin Purplepore” is part of the designer’s “Gut Reactor”project, an exploration of domestic coexistence of fungi and humans. Looking to counter their reputation as intruders or mere signs of spoilage in the home, Fleming proposes three types of fungi able to adapt to cohabitation with humans and positively influence people. Serotonin Purplepore is one of three cases of “domestic fungi” that produce airborne spores in proportion to the different bacteria digested from the human waste nearby. Once inhaled by humans, these spores can repopulate the gut to affect serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. Fleming believes that through this experiment “fungus can continue its evolutionary role as an ecosystem stabilizer by addressing the emotional balance of humans as a leading factor in urban habitat health.”