The Microbial Home - A Philips Probes Project

The Microbial Home is a domestic ecosystem which tackles the issues of energy, lighting, cleaning, and human waste disposal, embodied in a series of different components.

Bio-digester island

A kitchen island that consists of a methane "digester" which converts organic waste solids and vegetable trimmings into methane gas which is then used to power a series of functions in the home.


This concept challenges our use of refrigeration and food storage and presents ways to keep "living food" fresh, by using natural processes; an evaporative cooler and vegetable storage system built into a dining table.

Urban beehive

By providing a shelter for them within the human habitat it helps to maintain the declining number of bee populations, while they provide honey and wax for the patient home owner. The beehive is designed to allow us a glimpse into the world of these creatures educating upcoming generations about the importance of bees and to harvest the honey that they produce.


The concept explores the use of bio-luminescent bacteria fed with methane and composted material (drawn from the Bio-digester above). Alternatively the cellular light array can be filled with fluorescent proteins that emit different frequencies of light.


This plastic waste up-cycler is a concept that uses mycelium to break down plastic packaging waste. Designed to teach children about the environmental impact of household waste, it is designed to mould toys while producing edible mushrooms in the home.

The Filtering Squatting toilet

It is a waste separating toilet that filters effluent while channeling excreta to a methane digester in the Microbial Home system.

Symbiotic system diagram

The home as a biological machine to filter, process and recycle what we conventionally think of as waste – sewage, effluent, garbage, waste water and transfer all these to usable outputs for the home in form of heat or light or cooling.