Teresa van Dongen’s Electric Life installation uses living bacteria to generate electricity

Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen has developed a sustainable light source from living organisms that require regular nourishment in return for electricity.

Called Electric Life, the project currently takes the form of a robot-like “living light” installation on show at Paris’ Centre Pompidou, which is entirely powered by micro-organisms that excrete electrons.

The Amsterdam-based designer wanted to develop a more eco-friendly alternative to current energy and light sources that could be used in the domestic environment. She found electrochemically active “geobacters” in the muddy soil of rivers and lakes, which emit small electrical currents in their metabolism as a waste product.

“Comparable to humans breathing out CO2, they need to constantly get rid of these, potentially useful, electrons,” explained van Dongen.

Image source: Dezeen