︎︎︎studio website of︎︎︎

Suzie McMurtry

︎ ︎ ︎


Suzie is an artist, designer, and researcher from the San Francisco Bay Area currently living in London where she recently completed an MA in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins.

Broadly, she’s interested in socio-ecological systems. She has a background in fiber & printmaking & has been working in sustainable fashion since 2017. Her making research practice is directed towards exploring climate resilience, circularity, greenwashing, & regenerative design. She engages with these themes using speculative, clothing, material, service, & social design.

She's shown her artwork in Colorado & California, & her design work in the UK and the Netherlands.

I’m open to work! Please reach out regarding my availability for workshops, material consulting, or design & visual research.

︎Dutch Design Week 2022
︎LS:N Global (The Future Laboratory)


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I’m reading...
Jia Tolentino
Naomi Klein
Ursula K. Le Guin
Octavia Butler
Maria Puig de la Bellacasa
Donna Haraway
Shoshanna Zuboff
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Timothy Morton
Jenny Odell
Durga Chew-Bose
Center for Humane Technology

Living with Wildfire


A sculptural mechanism which releases fungal spores during a wildfire to jumpstart soil remediation and symbolise regeneration in a changing bioregion.

Changing winter and summer conditions will increase UK wildfire risk by up to 50% by 2080. We urgently need to [re]adopt a more nuanced mindset around fire to understand that in varied moderation, fire is a vital part of healthy ecosystems. As images of devastatingly orange skies from the most fire-prone areas around the world make loud headlines, can we preempt localised wildfire doom in the UK and find hope by bringing preventative and remediating measures out into the open?

Living with Wildfire intro film
cinematography and editing by Maël Hénaff

“We need not just reseeding, but also reinoculating. Recuperation is still possible, but only in multispecies alliance, across the killing divisions of nature, culture, & technology & of organism, language, & machine.”

– Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 2016

As much a speculative proposal as it is functional, Living with Wildfire offers a self-contained, fire-activated mycoremediation system in an art object, belonging on the perimeter of a home or civic building in a British rural-urban interface zone.  

The form is a mycelium sculpture, adorned with descriptive tags made from thick pieces of lead-free pewter, held up on a steel frame. This mycelium (the interwoven root-like hyphae that make up the majority of fungal organisms’ biomass) is grown on silica-rich substrate to enhance its natural fire-resistance. Inside this protective form is a steel vessel, sealed by a cork that contains billions of dormant spores of oyster mushroom, or Pleurotus ostreatus.

“In time, the spores take hold, consuming charred plant matter & pollutants alike. The sculpture’s possession & eventual use are a performance of sympoiesis between homeowner, their toxins, fungi, and water.”

– Living with Wildfire, critical text

the risograph-printed leaflet: "Reflect. Adapt. Bioremediate."

If a wildfire reaches the brush piled underneath the frame (gathered from fire prevention forest thinning), steam builds in the vessel, triggering a ‘spore explosion’ that inoculates the surrounding earth and detritus with Pleurotus. The fungi will aid in erosion prevention and begin to break down toxic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are found after fires in partially developed landscapes. The pewter tags melt quickly, flowing into the steel rim below, casting a remembrance of the event.

the pewter relic on burnt ground, surrounded by Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster) mushrooms

As an ecologically attuned art piece and small-scale, decentralised wildfire insurance plan, Living with Wildfire encourages reflection, adaptation and bioremediation, while leaving room for the grief that comes with witnessing a changing bioregion.

“In a matter of years, the UK will be ill-prepared to handle wildfires. It must consider what it might need in the future.”

– G. Rein, Professor of Fire Science, Imperial College London (2020)

^coming soon! email me if you want to buy a print now

“Fire may not only have an impact on the vegetation (and houses built within the burnt area), but is also a threat to human health from fire-produced smoke & fire’s influence on post-fire erosion, flooding & its potential to contaminate water supplies.”

        – A.C. Scott et al., ‘The interaction of fire and mankind: introduction’ (2016)

To read more about my process, research, outcome, and inspiration, see my publication Living with Wildfire

featured in:
Dutch Design Week 2022
UAL Graduate Showcase