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The Microbial Home

At first glance, this assemblage of odd furnishings might look like the result of an artist’s steampunk whimsy, but in actuality this is a project designed by the Dutch electronics company Philips aiming to address ecological issues of the post-industrial world.

“We need to go back to nature in order to move forward,” the project’s web page says.

As such, the new take on the larder, pictured at far left, is designed to store fresh “living” food without refrigeration. The island at the center is a methane digester, which converts bathroom and kitchen waste into gas to power the home. The hand-cranked machine at right uses fungi to break down household plastics. The final stages of the plastic breakdown cycle produce edible mushrooms.