The Microbial Home concept by Philips was showcased at the Dutch Design week. This domestic ecosystem concept harnesses biological waste by breaking them down and converting it into an energy resource. With a biodigester, this concept uses bacteria to generate gas in the kitchen island.
The designer was inspired by the fact that so much can be done with the household waste rather than further wastage. In this design concept, the kitchen is the focal point where it can regenerate and power itself. This whole concept uses not only the gas range and chopping surface, but an ensemble of cast iron, glass, bamboo and copper as well, called the bio-digester. The biodigester features a bacteria culture and vegetable grinder which encourages bacteria which thrives on organic waste and thereby produce methane gas energy. This is collected and burnt, which then feeds the cooking range for fuel and lights up gas light mantles. The water pipes for other parts of the house are also pre-heated by the biodigester.
This is based on the integrated cyclical system where each functional output becomes another functional input. The home is taken by the designer of the concept, as a biological machine, wherein it can process, recycle and filter the waste materials which include water, garbage, sewage and effluent. This is one way of combating and challenging the bacteria which is ever present. The challenge here is to bring about collective consciousness about repairing waste materials, whose by-products can best be utilized in the ecosystem as fuel rather than wastage. These will reduce pollution; bring down energy consumption through better utilization of the biological processes.
The designer’s concept is based on how the entire community could rethink about consuming less energy by diverting to energy saving domestic appliances. The feasibility of this concept is certainly based on developing a more balanced microbial Eco-system into the home, by moving closer to nature and finding the solution of a biological age.
The other factor which may be a possible hurdle is the steady supply and waste material such as bathroom waste solids and vegetable scraps, which may appear rather daunting as it conflicts with the conventional aspect of kitchen hygiene. On the other hand, the sludgy residue left behind after the process can be easily moved for recycling its use as compost for organic gardening.
This is truly a very holistic and radical approach towards sustainability and may require further study before actually being mass produced. It is yet to catch the imagination of the consumers as it has recently been launched.
1. Kate Jaclin sustainable kitchen
The designer Kate Jaclin, a student of Queensland University of Technology, has brought about a unique combination of elegant kitchen designs by adding an extra quotient in a very practical way. The sustainable kitchen has an attached vegetable garden and recycled water. This ensures a steady growth of vegetables right inside the kitchen. She has achieved in bringing about a concept which is not only an extra touch to elegant kitchens but very impressive as well.
This system is powered by clean solar energy and was conceptualized by Milad Taleghani of Iran and named as Funva. The collective element in the Funva is conspicuous and is built on clean practical lines. The control panel or the kitchen’s heart is located on one end of the sole shaped kitchen table. The panel will be featured with numerous components from solar lighting fixtures, dishwashers, cooking system, digital color pallet and even holographic displays. All these will be operated through the panel which will; be powered by the house’s solar system, according to the creator. Futuristic seating arrangements and a small refrigerator flanks the other end of the table. By using the digital color pallet, LED lights can screen up on the wall.
3. Altera Design Studio designed by Sustainable Kitchen
This project design by Altera Design Studio focuses on the alarming rate of food, resources and water shortage in the modern world. Hence, this system was designed to make people aware of how much they are consuming, in addition to minimizing waste materials. The sustainable kitchen stores food and beverage packs in the cooling unit only for 3 days supply. It also stores only ready-made food in metal sheet packaging to make people aware of their consumption unit. The table has four hollow plates which can rotate on its center axis so food can be taken on either side. There is a small flatware station in the middle of the table. A smart oven sets the ideal temperature and time required by reading the bar-codes on food packs and also warms up food only in groups to minimize the repeated use of the oven. There is a filtering unit for re-using waste wash water in the integrated dishwasher for conserving water. Beneath the table there are compartments for storing plates.
This concept aims at processing water as close to the point where it is produced and is the creation of Victor Massip and Laurent Lebot of Faltazi. This is a concept where water is recycled, waste material broken down inside the kitchen by using worms. There is a reservoir for collecting water to be re-used under the sink, storage containers for packaging and a container for earthworms which breaks down organic waste in the whole set up.