How would you prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes in the homes of 2050, when three quarters of the population will be living in an urban environment? Top design students were asked to consider this question when applying for Electrolux's annual Design Lab competition.
The finalists will be invited to present their concept to expert designers next week at 100% Design. The jury will consider entries based on intuitive design, innovation and consumer insight. The first prize winner will be invited to join Electrolux global design center as a paid intern, and receive 5,000 Euros.
The top concepts have been chosen from designers based in eight different countries: Australia; China; USA; India, Iran Russia, France and Sweden, and are as follows:
1: The Kitchen Hideaway, Daniel Dobrogorsky, Australia
The Kitchen Hideaway is a virtual reality concept that allows the inhabitants of a communal building to imagine being in a kitchen, preparing a particular meal rather than having to actually do this for themselves. The thoughts of the user are then transmitted to robotic chefs within the building who then prepare the visualised meal in a real kitchen and with real ingredients. In effect, the headset replaces the need for kitchen appliances in individual dwellings, saving space through creative thinking.
2: The Snail, Peter Alwin, India – Micro Induction Heating
The Snail is a portable heating and cooking device based on magnetic induction processes. Such is the size and versatility of the Snail, it can be stuck directly on to a pot, a pan, a mug etc. to heat the contents.This reduces the amount of space required for conventional cooking whilst adding portability to the process. Powered by a high density sugar crystal battery, the Snail converts the energy from the sugar, heating up a coil to conduct the magnetic induction process to the utensil. Integrated sensors detect the food type being heated so as to automatically adjust the time and temperature. A simple touch sensitive display with interface helps to monitor the process.
3: Elements Modular Kitchen, Matthew Gilbride, USA – All-In-One Kitchen Shelving
Mathew Gilbride’s modular, wall-mounted appliance provides flexible modes of cooking, refrigeration, air conditioning, lighting, and environmental design whilst reducing space. The appliance draws power wirelessly through technology applied to the wall, which is supplemented through solar energy as required. Multiple units and surfaces automatically work together through wireless smart networking, whilst customisation is offered by being able to install the units as the user prefers.
4: Bio Robot Refrigerator, Yuriy Dmitriev, Russia – Cool, Green, Food Preservation
Four times smaller than a conventional refrigerator, the Bio Robot cools biopolymer gel through luminescence. Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90% of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odours are contained, and items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable – it can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling. Different sizes and dimensions allow it to perfectly fit the accordant dwelling.
5: Clean Closet, Michael Edenius, Sweden – All in One Laundry Concept
The Clean Closet is essentially just that – a closet that cleans clothing. Textiles are scanned for impurities and cleaned accordingly with molecular technology that removes dirt and odours. The concept replaces the laundry basket, the washing machine, and drying cabinet to save space and, as no water is used in the process, is kinder to the environment.
6: Dismount Washer, Lichen Guo, China – Wash & Go Laundry
Lichen Guo identifies the conventional washing machine as an unnecessary occupier of space. The Dismount Washer addresses this by combining the cleaning vessel and laundry basket in one. The dirty laundry capsule is placed on a wall mountable motor (or ‘energy stick’) which takes up very little space. The energy stick also dispenses steam to aid the cleansing process.
7: External Refrigerator, Nicolas Hubert, France – External Cooling
Two years in China provided the inspiration for Nicolas Hubert’s external refrigerator. Fixed directly on the outside wall of residential buildings, the concept is an elaboration on a way of life in northern China where food is kept on balconies in the winter to save space and energy. During cold seasons and at night, the low external temperatures are used to provide the right climate for items in the fridge. During warmer weather, the sun is used to transform light into energy through solar panels. Nicolas reflects Electrolux design values: the shape and finish are kept pure and simple so as to ensure easy integration with the external urban environment, whilst a range of colours and ambient lighting facilitate this further still.
8: Eco Cleaner, Ahi Andy Mohsen, Iran – the Portable, Compact Dishwasher
The Eco Cleaner is a portable dishwasher and composter that uses ultrasonic waves to ionise food and turn it in to reusable waste. Ahi Andy Mohsen’s concept is designed for use within the increasing numbers of single households and specifically meeting dual predictions: that future food will be supplied in capsule form (thus reducing the required size of vessels to prepare and eat from); and that there will be reduced time for household chores. The Eco Cleaner is simultaneously green and space efficient.