Philips’ latest design makes room for humanity


Philips continues its series of design probes, which previously featured electronic tattoos embedded in human skin and mood-changing dresses, onward to how electronics can save the environment. “Off the grid: Sustainable Habitat 2020” notes that the rapid growth of human population doesn’t need to destroy our living spaces.

In the next 20 years 200 new megacities will rise up. How to respond? Minimize the space and energy needs of each single family. Philips is working on designs that change how light, air and water move through buildings, turning “dumb” materials into “functional skins” that collect and distribute energy. It’s all a bit trippy, suggesting our human waste can be converted to power that heats the food in our kitchen. But with all of us eventually running out of space, Philips takes the long view of cutting edge.

(Note to Philips: You’re scoring points with this green-guy stuff. So when will we Yanks get your cool colored bulbs in the U.S.?)

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