With the design goal to create products and solutions that satisfy peoples needs, the Philips Design team excels in environmental technology with their latest designs the Bio Digester Island and the Larder. These installations are part of a domestic ecosystem called the Microbial Home. Their project confronts common design solutions to human waste, lighting, cleaning, food preservation and energy. “We need to push ourselves to rethink domestic appliances entirely, to rethink how homes consume energy, and how communities can pool resources,”  Clive Van Heerden said, Senior Director of Design-led Innovation at Philips Design.

The Bio Digester Island is situated in the heart of the Microbial Home System as a kitchen island that includes a chopping surface with a vegetable waste grinder, a glass tank that shows energy reserves, a gas cooking range and glass elements that show pressure, volume and the readiness of compost sludge. It also consists of a methane digester that converts bathroom waste solids and vegetable trimmings into methane gas that power a number of functions in the home such as the cooking range and the gas mantle lights. This digester is required to have a constant supply of water and waste material. The Island’s water pipes are preheated by the digester and are channeled to other components.

Living food is kept fresh by the use of natural processes in the Larder system. It consists of an evaporative cooler and vegetable storage system built into a dining table. The cooler is made up of twin-walled terra cotta that includes chambers and compartments which vary in thickness and volumes designed to keep different types of food at various optimal temperatures. Hot water pipes warm the outer surface of the cooler that have to be preheated by the methane digester. Nature comes alive within the realms of the ceramic garden and larder above the table as vegetable groups are stored and grown based on their symbiotic chemistry.