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The future office: where our daily tasks help generate the energy needed to power the electronics that we have on our desks. The energy is generated through the pressure of the person walking on the carpet, through the body heat of the person sitting on the chair, through the plants natural acids and sugars, and through the heat from the electronics on the desk. The concept thereby moves sustainable design from the realm of demand and effort and makes it into something tailored to our everyday existence.

For my thesis, I examined the possibility of moving sustainable energy production and design away from the moralistic demands and instead align myself with the help of technology, to peoples everyday lives.

I have based my thesis on Harriet Beecher Stowes quote "Human nature is above all things lazy" in the belief that few people in the long term have the will, interest and energy to struggle to achieve a sustainable society. I have therefore investigated to reverse the problem and instead use what we already have and do.

Today, we spend most time in our workplaces, behind our desk. My question was if we can use the everyday tasks we perform at this location to generate enough energy to power the electronics we normally have on our desk. Through research at Ångströmlaboratoriet, Uppsala University, Malmö University and with help from my mentor Göran Nordhal, I have explored various technological and scientific methods that together with our everyday office tasks in a near future can generate the electricity we need.

I have used three different techniques in order to produce energy:

So-called piezo-elements are woven into the carpet, which means that whoever walks on the car- pet exposing the crystal in the elements to mechanical stress and the elements then emit energy.

The flower is a plant-microbial fuel cell, which means that the natural sugars and enzymes help to extract energy through photosynthesis.

The seat of the chair is based on the Seebeck effect, which means that the metal on the upper surface becomes warm, in this case from the body heat, while the underside is kept cold by metal fins. The difference between these temperatures emits energy.

click on images to enlarge

THANK YOU: Göran Nordahl, Alena Törnberg, Magdalena Hirsch, Leif Nyholm, Uppsala Universitet, Magnus Falk, Malmö Högskola, KTH, Frinab, ledbutiken.se, RMIG, Svepo Plast, Ulinco AB, Herdins