Ekokook by Faltazi

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Designers Victor Massip and Laurent Lebot of Faltazi have designed a conceptual system where water is recycled and waste is broken down by worms inside the kitchen. 

Called Ekokook, the project aims to process waste as close as possible to the point where it's produced.

The design incorporates storage containers for packaging, a reservoir under the sink for collecting water to be reused and a container where earthworms break down organic waste.

See also:

Flow2 kitchen by Studio Gorm (August 2009)
Vaisselier Système D by Matière A (July 2009)
Colo dishwasher by Peter Schwartz and Helene Steiner (June 2009)
Local River by Mathieu Lehanneur (April 2008)
Ethical Kitchen by Alexandra Sten Jørgensen (August 2007)

The information below is from the designers:

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Three built-in micro-plants for three recycling functions

The kitchen is where most household wastes are produced. If waste management is to be effective at both the individual and the collective level, selection and processing must begin as soon as the waste product appears. When we are peeling carrots, for example, we should be able to dispose of peelings straight away by emptying them into the earth worm composter direct from the work surface. Similarly, when we wash salad leaves, we should be able to choose to save the water for watering household plants. Simple actions like these must be encouraged and made easy by adequate fittings. The same goes for the disposal of solid wastes.

Micro-plant 1
Solid wastes: selecting, processing, storage.

Solid wastes have no smell. This means that they can be kept longer, once their volume has been reduced to a minimum. On the scale of the city, this enables council trucks to collect waste less frequently, which means less cost for the community, less noise nuisance, and less atmospheric pollution. We have broken down the receptacle for solid wastes into five units for processing glass, paper, plastics, metals and miscellaneous waste. The volume of each unit corresponds to dimensions that suit an average family (two adults & two children). Units can be customized to suit user profiles and to interact with services offered by the community.

We have opted for a system of components organized by bloc and by function: in the high part are different hatches, and in the lower part are the units for reducing volumes, and storage containers on rollers. The devices we propose to reduce the volume of wastes are machines activated by hand: a steel ball, like the ball in a pinball machine, to break glass, an endless screw like a nut-cracker to compress cans and water bottles, and a manual shredder-crusher to shred paper before turning it into briquettes.

Micro-plant 2
Water cycle: use, collecting, recycling.

Inspired by real-size civil engineering works for controlling water, such as locks and dykes, which move masses of water for irrigation, we have built in a double sink for retention, with an intermediate reservoir situated below the sink and two pitchers that collect kitchen water that has no grease scum. This enables users to recycle clean water by using it to water household plants. The dishwasher and steam oven can also be filled with water kept in the intermediate reservoir.

A double plug is installed in the sink bottom. The user can direct the water in the sink to its destination simply by activating one plug or the other. A filter removes particles suspended in the water to ensure that it is clean and of good quality. A simple device like this enables a saving of up to 15 litres per day, which is equivalent to what is needed to run a dishwasher load.
The entire intermediate reservoir can be lifted out to be washed, in order to meet standard hygiene norms.

Micro-plant 3
Processing & recycling organic wastes: the earth worm composter

My garbage bin is alive! As its name implies, the earth worm composter uses earth worms to break down organic wastes. All sorts of green wastes are produced in the kitchen: fruit and vegetable peelings, scrapings, left-overs, etc. This device aims at processing these wastes as close as possible to the place where they are produced – in the kitchen. Bringing real live earth worms into the kitchen calls for the design of a container to rationalize manipulation. It must be sealed, autonomous, and simple to manage. We propose a container unit in the form of a drum that rotates a notch day by day. Wastes shift gradually and as they are broken down and after three months maturing are sifted into a drawer as ‘lumbri’compost’. Liquid effluent drains into two pitchers. Diluted with ten parts water, it makes a rich liquid plant food ideal for indoor and outdoor plants.

It happened in 2010

Once upon a time some people decided to get a handle on their own future. They wanted to reducing their ecological footprint to the minimum, so in the course of the teens decade they introduced into everyday habitat efficient means for producing energy and reducing energy consumption, and for managing wastes.

Concepts of industrial symbiosis had been in everyone’s mind for some time, but the big thing was to apply them effectively in the home. Working in closed cycle mode, they felt that each waste should be turned into a new resource, that each drop of water that fell on the roof or came from a tap should be used to the utmost instead of going straight down the drain, that each watt of wind and solar power produced by the house should be valorized on the spot.

Little by little, the home of ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’, which had formerly been powered exclusively by fossil energies: coal, petroleum derivatives, gas... was becoming self-sufficient. The different functions dependent on consumption of an immaterial energy such as electricity were upgraded to hybrid input of power sources.

Wastes, which had once been evacuated and incinerated at considerable expense by the community, generating untold tons of ash and toxic gases harmful to the environment, were made subject to taxation by weight, which encouraged people to be more careful. People who were once just consumers became ‘consum’actors’, committed to changing their behaviour patterns and adopt eco-friendly habits. Once the means of taking immediate action were put within their reach, they seized hold of them and began changing things around, inventing new user protocols and spreading the good news.

Here we are in 2010

Ekokook is about implementing a global prospective research project for eco-friendly habitat in the real world: the Faltazi Lab. We are trying to answer the question of how to introduce ecological projects into the home. How to upgrade existing housing without advocating complete reconstruction. The obvious responses are those that use non-structural elements of living space (doors, windows, equipments...), which can be mass-produced industrially and are simple to install.

We focus on the material interfaces between habitat and external resources. Each wall, each balcony, each window, each door, each shutter can serve as a support for an eco-installation. Each installation in interaction with external networks (sink drain, garbage receptacle...) can be upgraded to produce an immediate eco-benefit. All the air, water, wind and sun that reach habitat must be seen as rare resources to be captured and used. Each drop of water must be collected and used to the utmost before being evacuated to external networks. Slowly but surely, the accumulated effects of these eco-benefits will change our environmental footprint for the better.

Ekokook grew out of an experimental approach based on the analysis of the nerve centre of every home: the kitchen. The place where we store food and prepare food, and produce and evacuate wastes is a vital core area for exchanges and convergences. It is also a place that generates all sorts of pollution. Which makes it the ideal focus for a study in eco-design.

  • http://samwelward.blogspot.com Samwelward

    love it. The future!

  • Ramon Jimenez

    Very creative….
    I love the idea…

  • http://www.archilektura.pl Kornel

    going to build one at home ;)

  • Emiliano

    AMAZING!!!!

  • Echelonsonly

    Thank you…

  • http://www.fotologue.jp/partialwing Wing

    still a bit confused on how the details work,
    but overall very creative!
    love it!

  • shag

    You need a pig at home and recycling will be much more easy (but less designed i recon).

  • roel

    WHY put worms in the kitchen? Who wants that? These kind of processes also can be kept in another more convenient place. Let’s stay down to earth, you never can sell this to the consumer.

  • Dido

    Evala!

  • Wadi

    Oh city boys, making city toys. Forget that system to compost food in a closed space like a kitchen. The idea of recycling is as good as the education of people is. We have a green wave of green chic products. teaching our kids lessons in coocking, gardening, sport and circulation of products is more important than all of this trendy hard ware design you discare when it’s out of fashion in 10 years. Would love to see a design for a 100% recyclable vacuum cleaner first.

  • http://www.johnnygrey.com chuck wheelock

    some interesting concepts with science basics technically correct. But the scale of the operation is impractical. I wonder why the hanging form can be so appealingly curved and organic, but the Island be locked into a strict rectangular form?

  • http://www.maktech.biz btplmr

    i am feeling this one. well done.

  • marius

    but i think the storaged waste will smell inbetween a few days

  • Flo

    Well,
    Is it what we call design? it seems to be made from a 80′s comics book.
    Where is the place of the human in this project,
    From here we can only see, comlicated block adjusted together, for a complicated way of thinking, it doesn’t seem to be intuitive and made for the human being.
    It’s not a solution to put green color evrywhere and to say it’s ecological!

  • Tymson

    That’s a great work, well thought. But, too complicated. And it looks like containers; that’s not very friendly. It could have been more esthetical and less green. It’s really TOO green, arf!

  • amsam

    Not quite clear on some of it, but this is the wave of the future– I have a composter in my kitchen in fact. The technology isn’t perfectly worked out yet– it’s a finicky machine. But after some kinks are worked out, in ten years in-kitchen composters could be standard. (Mine isn’t based on worms, but worm-based composters are among the most efficient. And food waste stops smelling when it’s composted. Or anyway it stops smelling like garbage and starts smelling like earth.)

  • http://www.faltazi.com Faltazi

    For Flo & Tymson: A small film that explains this kitchen. Even if the comments are in french, you can easily understand with pictures.
    http://tinyurl.com/yco89bx

    For Wady : I live with a vermicomposter in my kitchen since 3 years and it works very well and I promise you it doesn’t smell bad. About the vacuum cleaner is already done.
    http://tinyurl.com/yh5ncat

    For chuck wheelock : This kitchen shape an island just for the exhibition. It is quite possible to adapt it to other spaces.

  • http://l3utterfish.blogspot.com l3utterfish

    They just made my dreamt kitchen! I want one now!

  • Christine

    I love it, I want one too!

  • aya

    this is a good one!

  • Sabir

    Looks Good…..Worms in the Kitchen sounds and feels yucky……still confused about how it works.

  • http://francoisbeydoun.blogspot.com Francois Beydoun

    I appreciate this smart approach & practical, despite the fact it’s not my taste because this practical design looks very much to a nice laboratory. But, the cozy appearance of this kind of Eco-kitchen will comes later on when this kind of idea will be used on a large scale. A design needs to bring solution first and here is a great exemple! Mille bravos to Victor and Laurent and I wish you all the best.

    François Beydoun

  • http://www.cft411.com Joseph

    I write blogs on all things for the kitchen and bath, and I’m always looking for material to write about. I was very intrigued when I first saw this, but the more I looked at it, the more I knew it could not be a subject for a blog of my own. I don’t care to write negative blogs; instead, I just keep looking for items I like and write about them. And this particular concept, despite the fascination I have for it, would, I think, end up being somewhat of a negative blog for me. I cannot imagine my wife ever wanting such a thing in our home. All that clutter above the countertop would drive both of us nuts (we both cook). And she would never in this world want worms in her kitchen. In the end this might well be the wave of the future, but I do think they are going to change it quite a bit if they really respect to sell it. Just my opinion, of course!

  • http://flavors.me/vincentportfolio/ centB

    amazing !!!

  • http://www.rural.kz KZTulip

    I was looking for type of recipe to make compost and have some plants at my small garden in Namibia. I found this idea about making compost in kitchen very interesting. Of cause, not so much people would like to have WORMS in place where they cook. Me too. But conception of making compost from garbage is something that i would like to check in future… and see in my home. Thanks!

  • Robin

    What material is the unit made of?