The jury has wielded the axe on the 25 semi-finalists in the Electrolux Design Lab competition, leaving just eight finalists from the original 1,300 entries to battle it out for the prize of a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center and 5,000 Euros (approx. US$6,350). The 2010 brief asked industrial design students to consider how people will prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes in the homes of 2050, when 74 percent of the global population are predicted to live in an urban environment. Let’s take a look at the lucky eight entries vying for the title.
Nicholas Hubert is a French industrial designer, based in Shanghai, China. He used his daily experiences there to come up with a creative solution for a space-saving food-cooling design – the 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.
This solution that combines the cleaning vessel with the washing basket comes from Lichen Guo, a Chinese industrial design student. Recognizing conventional washing machines as an unnecessary space hog 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.
This design comes from Yuriy Dmitriev, a Russian industrial design student. Four times smaller than a conventional refrigerator, this concept uses a special non-sticky, odor-free gel that morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90 percent of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odors 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.
See more details via Electrolux Design Lab