The Philips Design team is trying to achieve a drastic cut in the environmental impact of our homes by creating a domestic ecosystem that challenges conventional design solutions to energy, cleaning, food preservation, lighting, human waste and healthy lifestyle. By creating an integrated, cyclical ecosystem whereby the output of certain processes provides the input of others, the Microbial Home acts as a biological machine to filter, process and recycle what we conventionally think of as waste – sewage, effluent, garbage, and waste water. At the heart of the Microbial Home system is the bio-digester kitchen island, which consists of a methane digester that converts bathroom waste solids and vegetable trimmings into methane gas that is used to power a series of functions in the home.
The composted material and methane gas from the bio-digester can then be transported to a wall of glass cells which make up the bio-light. The fuel is used to feed a culture of bioluminescent bacteria, which, in turn, power the bio-light creating ambient green mood lighting. Designed to show the energy value in human waste and raise awareness about wasting water, the filtering squatting toilet filters effluent through charcoal, sand and ceramic filters while channeling excreta into the methane digester.