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.

How do we define the ideal kitchen?
Today, industrial manufacturers continue to apply to kitchen space the hygienist and functional principles of the mid-20th century. Their kitchens are standardized sets that do not (or only unsatisfactorily) include responses to short term problems such as the storage of fresh vegetables or bulk goods of the kind that may be bought from biological cooperatives. Similarly, the selection and recycling of wastes is still virtually non existent in production. As for the primordial question of energy saving, standard equipments for kitchen fit-outs on the market today offer very little in the way of satisfying solutions.
Refrigerator/deep-freeze units, for instance, consume one third of all the electrical current used in homes. They tend to be cumbersome and their doors do little to control cold leak. But alternative solutions for conserving fruit and vegetables do exist. Some electrical appliances have integrated sensible design details. Dishwashers with several compartments enable energy savings and and steam ovens offer healthier cooking solutions. Service is tailored to needs. But to achieve better symbiosis with the environment, we have opted for global eco-design for the kitchen, one that integrates new functions and behaviour patterns. And we have sought support from emerging scientific and technical practises.
Our project is based on four essentials: waste management, kitchen health, reduction/consumption of energy, and intelligent storage.
Our kitchen has built-in fittings for selecting, processing and storing all kinds of wastes: organic, solid and liquid. As well, the alternatives for conserving and cooking that we propose target a more healthy cuisine, one that uses fresh products raised locally, which are stored in bulk.
We include electrical appliances that consume less energy, such as twin-tier dishwasher, steam oven and refrigerator with compartments.
We also try to use materials and fabrication processes that have the least possible negative impact on the environment and which are long-lasting.