Microbial home is a forward-looking design project presented by Philips during the Dutch Design Week 2011.
Microbial home is a group of design concepts which represents an innovative and sustainable approach to energy, waste, lighting food preservation, cleaning, grooming, and human waste management. Its components are the bio-digester island, the larder, the urban beehive, the bio-light, the filtering squatting toilet and the paternoster plastic waste up-cycler. Every of them has a particular design and it's a standing structure, but all components are linked to each other through the process. Microbial Home is a proposal for an integrated cyclical ecosystem where each function's output is another's input. In the project the home has been viewed as a biological machine to filter, process and recycle what we conventionally think of as waste (sewage, effluent, garbage, waste water).
All the elements of Microbial home are designed to be a balance between beauty and functionality. The contained dimensions and their simple but high-quality aesthetics make them versatile to a wide range of environments. Microbial home is a system that doesn't depend on the context. It is a sort of organism that breaks clichés of the traditional housing way of thinking, making the concept of house alive as much as the inhabitants.
Microbial home suggests that people should move closer to nature and proposes strategies for developing a balanced microbial ecosystem in the home. "Designers have an obligation to explore solutions which are by nature less energy-consuming and non-polluting", says Clive van Heerden, Senior Director of Design-led Innovation at Philips Design ". "We need to push ourselves to rethink domestic appliances entirely, how homes consume energy and how entire communities can pool resources", concludes van Heerden. In the Microbial Home Probe, Philips adopts a systemic approach to many of the domestic processes we take for granted and asks questions about how we deal with resources. The Probe suggests that we should move closer to nature and challenges the wisdom of annihilating the bacteria that surround us. It proposes strategies for developing a balanced mycrobial ecosystem in the home.