Design Probes

Far-future research dialogue by Philips Design

This video shows the day to day use of the home farming unit.

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Comment by Ted on December 2, 2009 at 4:47pm
When can we buy one of these?
Comment by Design Probes Moderator on December 7, 2009 at 8:51am
Hi Ted, the purpose of these concepts is to first get feedback and input on the ideas, even co developing it further. Rgds Dolf
Comment by vic proulx on December 19, 2009 at 2:34pm
The botanic side is a fine idea and need not be too far away from putting on the market. Less energy used for refrigeration and transportation would make up for that use for light. And fresh is a quality we are loosing in vegetables.
The fish though: not so good. It takes a lot of work to keep the space and water clean, a lot of energy to keep the water warm. And fish populations need space, they don't thrive in cramped quarters.
Comment by J.L. Frusha on January 7, 2010 at 7:03pm
This is also known as aquaponics... I'd lose the movable electronic gizmo and the uppermost tank. Use a fixed position diagnostics/programming pad. Go to a full, flat base, so as to distribute the weight better. Make the capacity of the remaining hydroponics tank and the fish tank larger. Go with an under-gravel filter and airstone to move the water in the fish tank up to the plants. Then an over-flow tube at each end, to return water to the aquarium. Not sure what the hydroponics root media is, but aquarium gravel is just about perfect. Have to select fish carefully. Food fish have to be replenished. I'm sure many people would rather have a pretty aquarium to look at. Could use LEDs for the lighting. Combine bright-white with reds and greens to achieve a no-heat natural type of grow-lighting. Go with a black-light and grow-light 2-tube fluorescent fixture for the fish... Makes the colors stand-out and lets aquarium plants be used, as well.
Comment by Pasi Lindberg on July 21, 2010 at 10:11am
There are already many companies offering systems to grow your own food indoors all year round.

For example ZENGROW™ tabletop garden ( offers small scale system for growing your own lettuce and herbs indoors. It is open system where you can start growing from seeds or pre grown plants you can buy from grocery stores.

So do not wait just start growing your own food now!
Comment by Gary Koffler on February 18, 2012 at 7:32am
Is work on the Biotower ongoing? If so, where is the work being done and by whom? I worked on an expert system-based monitor and control product for aquaculture systems in 1986. Is there a contact for this project for co-development opportunities? Is there any updated information?
Comment by J.L. Frusha on February 18, 2012 at 10:21pm, I have not seen any further development of most of the "products", on this site.  Concepts are merely put forth and then stagnate.  I'm in the process of converting an IBC (International Bulk liquids Container) for an outdoor 'home' unit.

Comment by Pasi Lindberg on February 19, 2012 at 10:39am

We have been working with larger unit and launched ZENGROW wall garden:


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