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Faculty of Design

Environmental Design - Interior Design Specialization

Rachel Morris

4 - Design Vignette: Habitat/Hearth

Environmental Design
Rhino 3D, Illustrator, Adobe XD
The Habitat/Hearth takes the kitchen island and gives it an off-grid twist. The hearth is a large composting space that uses a plastic-consuming mycelium to break down both synthetic and organic household waste.When someone purchases the Habitat/Hearth Kit, they will be supplied with all the appliances, modular components, and a metallic composting liner. The dweller will be instructed to reuse wood from the Decay Phase, or source sustainably harvested lumber.Waste enters the unit through a door near the top of the composter. Using a hand crank connected to a pair of augers, the compost can be churned without opening the unit, keeping odors to a minimum. A larger auger transports fresh compost to a pull-out drawer where the dweller can scoop it out as needed to mix into their garden.Compost can generate heat up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit which would heat an oven-like modular slow-cooking chamber. This creates an impermeable sanitary barrier between the decomposing waste and your food, one of the main challenges with compost cooking. Through the composting process, methane gas is generated. This is a greenhouse gas, but it can be captured and collected, through a process called Methane Bio-Digesting, and used as fuel to power a gas cooktop.The mycelium grown in the outer-casing of the hearth provides an insulating barrier that further traps any odors.The countertop would be a dweller-sourced recycled-content terrazzo slab in a colour of their choice.The Habitat/Home App would instruct the dweller, step-by-step, on how to assemble their new hearth and offer tips on how to shift their behaviours and shopping habits away from our wrongly normalized culture of quick consumerism and overconsumption to a buy-what-you-need mindset.

“A hub of warmth and slow-cooking aromas that self manages home waste.”

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Habitat/Home: Habitat/Hearth
Habitat/Home: Habitat/Hearth
Habitat/Home: Habitat/Hearth App Assembly
Habitat/Home: Habitat/Hearth App Assembly

Work by

Rachel Morris

Environmental Design: Interior Design Specialization

“Designing spaces that form symbiotic relationships between dweller and dwelling”