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A Meal a Day. Aquaponic Home Device.


As designers, we give ideas a form, and we transform them into things. We can’t certainly solve the world’s challenges, but we can create concrete storytelling about them—a narrative.

Malthus is one of these tales: an in-home aquaponics unit designed for the next generation kitchen or living room. It grows one meal a day: a portion of fish and a side salad. Aquaponics farming is a technique that combines the cultivation of fish with the growing of vegetables. The fish provides rich fertilizer for the plants, and in return, the plants clean the water from the tank. The fish and the plants co-exist in a symbiotic relationship.

Malthus is an appliance for the future kitchen that grows food right next to where you cook it. Malthus consists of a fish tank that holds 400 litres which can support more than 2kg of fish like tilapia, salmon, grey fish or carp. The water is pumped through three cultivated grow beds which filter the water for the fish. Malthus is designed to optimize space and costs with indoor food production. The weight of the fish tank is comparable to the one of a full bathtub; its width is about the size of two small refrigerators. Its parts are made of elements available in most DIY stores.

Malthus #01 was presented for the first time at the 10th edition of NESS – Nordic Environmental Social Sciences Conference – Stockholm 14th -16th June 2011 within the context of the exhibition “Power Landscapes” curated by Po Hangström. The conference theme is also the theme of an art project where the invited artists (Katia Aglert, New Beauty Council, Cristine Ödlund) presented works on design as a tool for social and environmental engagement.

Design Team: Antonio Scarponi, Architect and principal of Conceptual Devices. 

Collaborator Stefano Massa, Senior Architect at Conceptual Devices.

Intern: Laura Varžgalytė


2011 POWER LANDSCAPE, Ness Conference (Nordic Environmental Social Science) Stockholm, Sweden.

Selected Online Publications: 


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