Design urgently requires new strategies in order to shift from a culture of “take, make, waste” to sustainable production and consumption cycles. One promising direction can be found in the idea of a circular economy: nothing is “waste” – all materials and nutrients can be put to use or return to end users if products are designed for circular use in the first place. In this sense, yes, urine’s many useful biological nutrients yield a big potential for new circular products and business models.
Following circular design principles, Austrian design studio EOOS and LAUFEN created a showcase for capturing urine’s inherent potential: The LUNAR LANDER. The concept created by EOOS Design together the Bristol Robotics Lab of the University of West England with the aesthetics of early space explorations that channels urine through Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) and produces electricity. 85 liters of urine suffice to produce one kilowatt-hour of energy. The high-tech fuel cells were manually produced by EOOS with ceramic cylinders provided by LAUFEN.
If urine can be energy, what other sustainable opportunities might we unlock through this kind of thinking? Let’s evolve – towards a circular future.
LUNAR LANDER could be explored during Fiorisalone 2022 in our LAUFEN space Milano.