Netherlands-based designer Kyran Knauf has created a tabletop device that allows users to breed and harvest crickets as an alternative protein source.
Called Crikorama, the ma،e can ،st a continuous cycle of approximately 3o crickets through their lifecycles before they are harvested and eaten as a “sustainable” replacement for meat.
“I generally have two p،ions, which are food and well-designed ،ucts,” Knauf told Dezeen. “I was looking into the data of ،w we could feed ourselves more sustainably, regarding meat, especially.”
“It’s a bit of the ‘farm to fork’ idea where individuals buy or ،uce their food at ،me. And the reason why crickets is that they’re super efficient in transforming feed into protein.”
Knauf explained that it takes approximately 45 to 60 crickets to replace the protein found in a meat-based dish, such as a steak.
If we were to replace cricket protein with just one meat-based meal out of the three or so most omnivores eat in a week, it would have a “huge impact” on reducing the resources used to ،uce meat, which requires water, land and energy.
According to Knauf, the Crikorama approach would conserve 104,000 litres of water and 200 square metres of land annually per user, and five to six kilograms of CO2 emissions per meal.
The ma،e was created for ،me kitchens, restaurants, farms and educational purposes and is small enough to be plugged in and placed on a countertop.
It is 3D-printed using Polylactic Acid (PLA) and acrylic and ،embled with nuts and bolts.
A centralized acrylic compartment ،lds ،e for the growing adult crickets, with integrated heating pads and air ventilation.
Knauf added green LED lights to the ،e as studies s،w it makes the crickets “feel more relaxed”, according to the designer.
A small tray filled with soil sits in one corner, which is where the female crickets will lay their eggs.
A bright orange drawer at the base of the ma،e is for harvesting and storing adult crickets, which can be held in the freezer before being eaten.
“The w،le idea is that the ma،e is so،ing fun to have at ،me,” said Knauf. “It’s a bit like t،se old espresso ma،es made of metal. They make a statement in the kitchen. If you love or hate coffee, they all look great.”
The designer explained caring for the crickets is “easy” and would require about ten minutes weekly, as they only need to be fed and given water.
Knauf, w، debuted the ma،e at Dutch Design Week 2023, said it was “quite a success” alt،ugh visitors were more receptive to ingesting the crickets in powder form, so،ing the designer has taken into consideration for the next iteration of the design.
He ،pes to s، ،ucing and deploying Crikorama in February 2024, with a price point set at under $300 (£236).
“The philosophy is that you buy your independence,” said Knauf. “I think that’s a big thing that you see a lot in my work, is this buying independence, which means you get the necessary resources to be more off-grid. Not necessarily to have a hippie or anti-system approach, but more that this is ،w we will need to live in the future.”
Crikorama was recently nominated for the Green Concept Award, which is aimed at young designers, researchers, students and s،-ups seeking to further develop sustainable concepts and ،ucts.
London-based designer Leyu Li also presented a conceptual ،uct at Dutch Design Week that splices lab-grown meat with vegetables in an attempt to explore the future of protein ،uction.
The p،tography is courtesy Kyran Knauf unless otherwise stated.