A light installation powered by micro-organisms

For het project Electric Life, designer Teresa van Dongen developed a light installation powered by micro-organisms commonly found in the muddy soil of rivers and lakes.

Bacteria found in the soil of most rivers continuously excrete electrons in their metabolism. Van Dongen has been studying these bacteria and exploring ways to use them to generate energy.

The resulting light installation in entirely powered by micro-organisms that have electrons as a waste product. Rather than plug it in, the owner has to ‘feed’ the lamp water, some nutrients and a teaspoon of vinegar a week.

Using Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as a test ground, five indoor public spaces in the five main districts will get the supervision over a living light installation for a duration of six months. During opening hours, the people of Amsterdam will get a taste of what energy can look like in the future.

The project Electric Life is one of the nominees of the Clean Energy Challenge.

Photos: Teresa van Dongen