Design Boom has the coolest stuff…

Philips eco-friendly microbial home

First of all….what? Second of all, what?? Check out the urban beehive halfway through. This is genius designing…way to go Philips.

the ‘microbial home’ concept by philips design

the ‘microbial home’ by philips design is a concept home design that adopts a systemic approach to domestic activity,
connecting machines into a cyclical system of input and output that minimizes waste. as the designers explain,
we view the home as a biological machine to filter, process, and recycle what we conventionally think of as waste.’
from domestic beekeeping (‘urban beehive’) to gardens that decompose plastic waste (the ‘paternoster’),
view more information about each of the component prototype devices below.

the ‘microbial home’ was on exhibition at the piet hein eek gallery during dutch design week 2011 in eindhoven, the netherlands.

the ‘methane bio-digester’ kitchen island generates energy for use in cooking and heating

methane bio-digester

the ‘bio-digester’ is a kitchen island that includes a chopping surface with waste grinder and gas cooking range.
in the device, ‘bio-gas’ is produced by developing gas-generating bacteria cultures that live off of organic waste.
the bacterias’ gas is collected and burnt, for use in the built-in cooking range and lights or sent through to heat water pipes
and be used in other components of the ‘microbial home’.

view of cutting surface

detail on cooking range
image © designboom

‘larder’ evaporative cooler dining room table


‘larder’ is a dining room table that doubles as a food storage system and evaporative cooler– similar to a kind of natural
refrigerator. the center of the table is composed of inset terra cotta boxes, whose outer surface is warmed by the hot water pipes
from the methane ‘bio-digester’. the compartments vary in wall thickness and volume, providing spaces of diverse temperatures
for storing different kinds of produce.

detail on terra cotta cooling compartments
image © designboom

the ‘paternoster’ mushroom garden decomposes plastic waste


the ‘paternoster’ is a ‘plastic waste up-cycler’ that uses mycelium fungus to break down plastic packages and bags.
enzymes within the fungus can decompose the plastic, utilizing the material for food and thus producing edible mushrooms
(as long as the inks on the plastic do not contain toxic materials). mushroom cultures are grown in glass and inserted into
a holster wheel within the device. each week, plastic grounds are mixed with the mycelium. the front surface of ‘paternoster’
can be opened to reveal all of the machine’s inner workings for educational purposes.

detail on inner gear
image © designboom

‘urban beehive’

urban beehive

the ‘urban beehive’ is designed to facilitate domestic beekeeping. installed into an exterior wall, one side of the device offers
an integrated flowerpot below an entry tunnel for the bees. as the creatures fly into the main hive, they find a preexisting
honeycomb structure on which they can build their wax cells. the glass shell permits the entry of orange light, which bees
use for sight, while rendering visible the interior structure and work of the bees.

the exterior side of the device
image © designboom

detail on hive
image © designboom

image © designboom


‘bio-lights’ use either bioluminescent bacteria, fed with methane and composted material from the ‘methane bio-digester’,
or fluorescent proteins to generate light for home. the lamp structure is a wall of glass cells suspended in a hung or freestanding
steel frame, filled with biological cells. the low-intensity light generated requires no electricity and might be adapted to urban,
highway, and navigational use in addition to domestic.

the ‘filtering squatting toilet’

filtering squatting toilet

the ‘filtering squatting toilet’ requires no external energy, saving water by using a special flush mechanism.
the device filters excrement to the ‘methane bio-digester’ for use as energy.

research suggests that squatting toilets provide health benefits such as decreased risk of colorectal cancers,
in comparison to sitting toilets, and in the philips design, a built-in handrail improves comfort and balance.


Futurist Profile: Nick Kaloterakis

Nick Kaloerakis is an amazing designer with a mind for futuristic development. Very focused on metallic streamlined designs, Nick’s work is indicative of a trend towards envisioning melded technologies: electronics with engineering and elegance. For example, Nick draws a stunning image of hypersonic jets, streamlined to make trips from New York to Tokyo in 2 hours. Check out his work for an insight on how awesome designers are viewing future technologies:

You can find Nick’s work gracing the covers and insides of Popular Science, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

Data is Power by Nick Kaloterakis


Mars Rover by Nick Kaloterakis

Deus Ex Machina by Nick Kaloterakis


What about this? A poll on Images of the Future: Green Cityscape

As we grow more earth-conscious in order to save the environment (and ourselves), imaginings of future city-scapes take on a less gloomy look. Could you imagine this as reality? Would you want to live here? How far in the future does this artist rendition of the future seem?

gree city scape sci fiMitchell Joachim’s Eco-City Nick Kaloterakis

Emotional Android – Kara

KPC-897504C: it will clean your house, look after your kids, keep track of your appointments and satisfy your sexual needs.

Quantic Dream, a video game company pushing the bounds of hyper-realism in video gaming (developers ofHeavy Rain), premiered its new PS3 engine with a real-time demo called Kara. It is not a video game that is in current production, rather, it is a creative short which demonstrates the ability to show an impressive mimic of human emotion. In the short, you witness an android being constructed, a quick mechanic production forming a slim, sexy body. She is given the name Kara. Gameinformer writer Matthew Kato describes the content in a compelling format, pulling from the short itself to give life to the script on page:

The creation of this new identity produces a flicker of consciousnesses that is strengthened as the process continues, and Kara becomes more and more confident in herself. She can speak 300 languages – including singing beautifully in Japanese – and when synthetic flesh is added to her frame, she insticintively exhibits the human emotion of modesty by covering up her new nakedness.

Her new life won’t last long, however. The technician explains that she is to be re-initialized so she can be sold to a consumer who will give her her own name and purpose. Kara realizes what this means for her. “I thought…” she begins.

“You thought?” counters the operator. “What did you think?”

“I thought…I was alive.”

“You’re not supposed to think that sort of stuff,” he explains. “You’re not supposed to think at all, period.”

The technician orders her to be scrapped for “non-standard” behavior, and the assembly machines starts to comply; dismantling her limb by limb.

Through new technological developments in processing abilities, Quantic Dream was able to create a realistic and futuristic short that is both compelling as a snippet of film, as well as a look into the future of gaming capabilities. Kara comes off a little over the top, but the range and display of human emotion is worth its excess. Watch the video for yourself!