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Far-future research dialogue by Philips Design

Living off the grid? Could the Microbial Home probe be a feasible future for us?

For the past hundred years, our world has relied primarily on electro-mechanical technologies. The industrial revolution and the major technologicalepochs that followed in the 20th century saw massive development of the power of humans to control and command nature, and harness it to the needs of industry. But has this gone too far?

Our world is sending us warning signals that we are disturbing its equilibrium. Daily, we see evidence of the effect we are having on the biological systems we all depend on and are part of. Our thirst for raw power risks destroying our environment. Could a domestic ecosystem be a feasible step towards a more sustainable future, what could be the conditions for making such a transition where homes will be independent off the grid. Is this about designing sustainable systems/products or about designing an environment to change peoples mindset?

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Interesting questions... I belief that we need to take people's mindset as the starting point for sustainable systems in the household. Our homes are the reflections of our beliefs and values. I think a large part of our Western society are ready to create more sustainable homes, but how does our government support in this? What do you think of the role of the government in creating off the grid futures?
If you talk about mindset and the role of government, I could imagine that governments stimulate 'sustainability' curriculums in all levels of education starting at primary school. The coming generations, which are now in school, are the first generations that will have to embrace developments like this. Whether it will be about energy, food or waste we have one future certainty and that is; things will change. Ofcourse governments can also stimulate these developments in more conventional ways, such as stimulating R&D in these fields, taking a leading role by applying new developments in governmental buildings or public space. After all... a government is often seen as a 'facilitating' entity, but not often as an 'inspiring' entity, maybe this is where change could happen?

Politicians are usually dragged, kicking and screaming, behind the general public. Governments are all committed to the mega-utility model of energy supply and waste management.  Just occasionally the more visionary of them offer incentives to develop more sustainable technologies (e.g. Germany and solar power) but no government will really commit itself to a truly sustainable society.  And the industries of the older non-sustainable technologies are always there with generous political donations and lavishly-funded misinformation campaigns.  For a real change to happen there would have to be a massive shift in public sentiment over sustainabilty resulting in the election of much 'greener' governments.  This is not going to happen until something nasty takes place such as a sudden dramatic cut in oil supplies or a nuclear meltdown in France, Germany or the USA.

I think that a domestic ecosystem is a fantastic idea.  It ties in nicely with concepts such as permaculture, and could really take off if a company such as Philips could produce aesthetically attractive units 'off the shelf'.  I speak as someone who lives in rural France where the only gas supply is expensive propane and where there is no mains sewerage.

Required bacteria of different species working with peat, the goal of creating a new world without officials, green homes in the swamps and forests. LEDs plus bacteria replace the traditional way of life. Thanks for the convenient hive, I like to grow spider web is a very useful protein for the skin

I wonder whether this concept was based on actual research and is therefore ready to implement in a real home? Don't misunderstand me: I like the idea very much and I am impressed by the design of the individual parts of the Microbial Home, but I happen to have chosen a nearly similar idea for my end-term creative school project. In this project I find myself confronted with numerous problems. For example: the anaerobe bacteria producing bio-gas don't exclusively produce methane but also H2S, CO2 and so on. How to extract the valuable methane from the gas mixture? I am very curious how Philips solved for example this problem within the tiny space of this piece of furniture.

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