Systems thinking in the kitchen

10 Apr

My friends over at Lifelab Projects / Digitaal Dialoog (thanks, Darin!) sent me this link about the Philips Kitchen-of-the-future concept. Its so far up my alley, there’s been an accident! The Microbial Home by Philips Design won the prestigious reddot luminary design award 2011. Its a domestic-scale ecosystem and its aesthetically very pleasing to boot.

C_Philips_DesignThe kitchen has a number of elements of which the Bio-Digester Island below is the central hub. It has a methane digester with the appropriate bacteria to convert vegetable trimmings and bathroom waste into an energy source. You can see a gas mantle light on the crossbar.


In the description it says that the digester needs a constant supply of waste and water. I wonder to what exactly that translates for our home habits? Would that pull a change in cooking, for example, more cooking at home and/or more use of fresh foods (for appropriate waste)?

C-Philips_DesignThe island is linked to a larder, the design of which takes its geographic context into account. Above the table is a ceramic garden and larder where vegetable groups are grown and stored on the basis of their symbiotic chemistry.


The larder design draws on alternative knowledge (granny knowledge in the sense of this blog) on storing food. It has a twin-walled terra cotta evaporative cooler at its center, the compartments and chambers vary in wall thicknesses and volumes, and are designed to keep different types of food at different optimal temperatures. The outer surface of the cooler is warmed by hot water pipes, which have been pre-heated by the methane digester.


This makes me think of the Save Food from the Fridge project by Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Jihyun Ryou, especially what looks like (damp) sand between the terrra cotta walls.

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